The Six Nations comes to a close this weekend, with the title and a Grand Slam still up for grabs.
First off, the game with just pride to play for, Italy to host France in Rome. The Italians were thrashed at Twickenham last time out, their 21st successive defeat in the Six Nations. But before that they had run Wales close and actually led Ireland at halftime, both of these games being at home.
They clearly play better in front of their home crowd and will be looking to put one over France. And they have a chance as the French have won just two times in 11 matches. The bookies offer the hosts a 10 point lead to create an evens bet, and we will side the the Italians.
The late game sees England taking on Scotland at Twickenham. The hosts need to win to have a chance of clinching the Six Nations title, and haven’t lost this game at home since 1983.
England have been very strong at HQ, scoring 57 points against Italy and 44 versus France. Although they lost at Murrayfield last year, the previous meeting at Twickenham saw England win 61-21, a record margin. We think England have another performance in them, particularly against an injury-hit opponent, and take them to beat the 19 point spread.
This brings us to the feature game of the day, Wales versus Ireland at Cardiff. The hosts are going for the Grand Slam, while Ireland, the defending champions, need to beat Wales and hope that England lose to retain their crown.
This match will be tight. Neither side has impressed that much offensively thus tournament while defences have largely been solid. The bookies make Wales favourites just, only feeling the need to offer Ireland one point to create an evens playing field.
We’re reluctant to separate these two sides, but we note that you can get 11/4 that there is a successful drop goal during the match. Both teams will be keen to take every scoring opportunity in this game, and we think this offers value.
Italy and England to beat spreads as a double, 1 pt, at 3/1, widely available
Successful drop goal in Wales/Ireland game, 1 pt, at 4/1, Bet Victor
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