There are a number of different markets based around the upcoming RBS Six Nations, so let’s take a look at where you can find the best bets whichever country you will be supporting.
England are 2/1 favourites with Stan James and betway to win the title and 11/2 with Paddy Power to complete the Grand Slam. Arguably, they were unlucky not to achieve that last year as their defeat against Wales was controversial to say the least and Stuart Lancaster‘s men have improved since if you take their sensational victory over the All Blacks in the autumn at face value. Let’s not forget New Zealand went into that game at the end of a long tour, however, and most of their squad had been suffering with a virus just days earlier. England won’t want to be without Manu Tuilagi for too long and face difficult trips to traditional bogey teams Wales and Ireland so, though they should win all of their matches at Twickenham, may be best backed at Ladbrokes‘ 8/13 to finish in the top two.
France are starting to emerge from the shambles of Marc Lievremont‘s tenure on the evidence of autumn victories over Argentina and Australia and will again be hard to resist if everything clicks into place on the field in the Six Nations. The old flair is clearly still there but so are the traditional weaknesses and confidence will probably nosedive again if they fail against England at Twickenham. That said, Philippe Saint-Andre‘s men could be a worth a small wager to score the most tries in their five games at 15/8 with Blue Square and 888sport, especially if a rejuvenated Frederic Michalak gets on the ball.
Wales completed the Grand Slam last year but they’ve had major problems since the championship ended and are still in the midst of an injury crisis that threatens to derail their defence. Interim coach Rob Howley will have to rally his troops but after seven straight defeats he must be wondering where to start. Home defeats by Samoa and Argentina in the autumn highlighted how far Wales have fallen in 12 months and they are unlikely to trouble either England, France or Ireland this year.
This Six Nations is likely to be a swansong for several of Ireland’s stars, including Brian O’Driscoll, and they’ll want to go out on a high. Consistency has been their problem in recent years however, and they also lack a bit of organisation at times. However, it would be no surprise to see them beat either England or France in Dublin, though they could just as easily lose to Wales and Scotland – back the Irish to finish in the top three at 1/2 with Ladbrokes.
As for Scotland and Italy, they will almost certainly again be contesting the wooden spoon. The Scots have won just two Six Nations matches in the last three years and could get an early hiding at Twickenham after yet another dismal autumn campaign. The one saving grace is that they play the Italians at Murrayfield this year so we’ll take the Azzurri to finish bottom of the pile again at the general 4/9.