Ireland start as firm favourites to retain their Six Nations title but they face a tough opener at home to England and we take a look at that and the other two matches from a betting angle.
France v Wales – click here to bet
France were disappointing in last year’s Six Nations winning 2 and losing 3 of their games. They never had a good November International season, losing to South Africa and to Fiji. Wales finished 2018 in fine style beating both Australia and South Africa at home. They also won all of their home matches in the Six Nations eventually finishing as runners up behind Ireland.
These sides met in Cardiff last season with Wales edging it 14-13 and the last time they met in Paris was France who won 20-18. Matches between these sides have been historically very low scoring.
France -0.5 at 19/20
Wales +0.5 at 17/20
Suggested bet: France win at 19/20
I like the balance of this French Team and while Wales will be no pushover, I think home ground advantage should see France get up.
Scotland v Italy – click here to bet
Scotland finished 3rd in last season’s Six Nations, winning 3 and losing 2 of their matches. Both of those wins came at home against France and England but they did lose to the Boks in November, although they did follow that up with a victory over Argentina. Italy were once again last in the Six Nations, their 5th consecutive wooden spoon. They were beaten in all 5 matches by an average of over 20 points and both the Wallabies and the All Blacks made short work of them in November.
Scotland only just beat Italy last year by 2 points in Rome but they won 29-0 the last time they hosted the Italians.
Scotland -24 at 9/10
Italy +24 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Any Time Scorer, Huw Jones at 19/20
Jones is a prolific try scorer and in a game where I am struggling to find a handicap pick I will back him to cross the try line.
Ireland v England – click here to bet
Given Ireland are the 8/10 favourites with England 63/20, second favourites – click here for outright betting this is a massive fixture as far as the eventual winner of the Six Nations Championship goes. Ireland won the Grand Slam last season and their victory over New Zealand at home in the November Internationals is still fresh in the mind. They also managed to beat Australia 2-1 in a three test match series on the road in mid-year.
England were very disappointing in last year’s Six Nations finishing 5th having won it the 2 previous years. They did show some signs of returning to form at the end of the year though, narrowly edging South Africa and losing to the All Blacks by a point. They then hammered the Wallabies by 19 points at Twickenham.
Ireland beat England away by 9 points last season and the last 6 head-to-head matches between the sides have been decided by under 12 points.
Ireland -8.5 at 9/10
England +8.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Winning Margin, Ireland by under 12.5 points at 15/10
This could be a very close game bit I do think the Irish have an edge however I think history will repeat itself and I think we will get a winning margin of less than 13 points.
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change