Six Nations: Hogg roast the bookies…

It’s that time of the year again when all the Celtic nations (along with the French and the Italians) can show just how much they love the English. Yes, it’s the Six Nations rugby tournament.

England are the favourites, as they go for an unprecedented third win in a row. And it’s not difficult to see why. Ranked no. 2 in the world, the men in white have won 22 out of 23 games under head coach Eddie Jones. That said, their prohibitive odds reflect this.

Next up are the Irish, the only team to have beaten England over the last two years. They have a strong chance this season, they have relatively few injuries and showed how strong they can be by defeating the All Blacks, the world’s no. 1 ranked side, in the autumn. However, they do have to go to Twickenham, never an easy task.

It’s to Scotland that we at Lap of the Odds cast our eyes. This Scottish team is now playing exciting, attacking rugby which came close to beating New Zealand in November before putting 50 points past Australia.

Scotland start the series with a trip to Cardiff, where they have not won in 16 years. However, Wales are riddled with injuries and Scotland to win at evens with a two point start looks a cracking bet. That said, it may be too much to expect Scotland to beat both England and Ireland so we’ll look at another market to express our pro-Scotland basis.

Stuart Hogg would have played fullback for the British & Irish Lions in the summer if it wasn’t for injury, and he represents Scotland’s most threatening attacking option. He is currently priced at 7/2 to be their top try scorer, but we will take the 20/1 that he emerges as the tournament’s leading try scorer.

Recommendation: Hogg to be top try scorer, 1 pt each way, at 20/1, 1/4 the odds for first four places, Betfair. For those with access to Boyle Sports, their 16/1 at 1/4 the odds for the first five places could be considered.

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