2018 Six Nations Outright Betting Preview

  • 2nd February 2018
2018 Six Nations Outright Betting Preview

Each coach has selected his starting 15 and this year’s NatWest Six Nations is back. The first round of games sees dark horses Scotland travel to Cardiff to take on Warren Gatland’s Wales, France host the in-form Ireland and the current hosts, and favourites, England, make the trip to Rome to tackle Italy.

2018 Six Nations Outright Betting Preview

England are looking to make it three Six Nations tournament wins in a row, a feat never managed in the history of either the Five or Six Nations. At 11/10 they are the favourites for the competition and even with a long injury list, they are still fancied by most this year. Ireland are tipped as the next best at 7/4 and given how well they have played over the past two years, look to be England’s biggest threat. With wins over New Zealand and the only side to beat England since Eddie Jones took over the job, Ireland are good value to put a stop to the English dominance of the past few years.

Scotland’s tag as the ‘Darkhorse’ this year is not just a throw-away comment, but a real statement. The Scots have improved massively in the past few years; they beat Wales at home in the 2017 tournament and were so close to beating the All Blacks in the autumn. In Stuart Hogg, they have one of the best attacking players in the world. His pace, composure under the high ball and defensive abilities single him out as, arguably, the best full-back in world rugby. With him, Scotland are a dangerous opposition and with their youth and creativity in the midfield, behind a fierce pack, at 11/1, are an extremely tempting proposition.

The Welsh are another side struggling with a long injury list, more so than any other team and seem to have been over-taken by Scotland in the ranking in the Northern Hemisphere. Wales have struggled in the past few years and do not seem to have progressed as quickly or as strongly as Scotland, Ireland or England. 18/1 for them to win the tournament is probably the largest price they have been at for over a decade but coach Warren Gatland looks to have finally picked a side on the basis of form, mainly that of the Scarlets, who won the Pro 14 last season and are into the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup. Never to be written off, however, and are capable of beating anyone on their day.

France have not competed for the title in the Six Nations in what seems like decades now and look a step behind the rest. However, their side boasts a number of young, homegrown, talented Frenchman and everyone is aware of how good they can be, especially in the loose. ‘France are consistently in-consistent’ is a phrase often touted about the French and you rarely know which side will turn up, but, at 25/1, they could be worth a punt. We will be able to tell a lot from their opener against Ireland.

Italy themselves know that the title is not a realistic aim or even a dream for now. First, they need to start becoming more competitive in their matches against the rest of the sides. Connor O’Shea is a well-respected and knowledgeable coach who will, one day, see the Italian game progress to the higher levels of the rest of the sides in this tournament. His inexperienced side, led by the talisman of Italian rugby, Sergio Parisse, are not going to win the title but could cause a few upsets should their opposition not be quite at it on the day. Many players will be un-known to the British public, so it is hard to say what they could do this year. The 1500/1 odds represent how far behind the rest they are right now.