Six Nations 2020 - State of Play - Betting Latest
Six Nations 2020 - The State of Play Ahead of Round 3
The battle to win the Six Nations looks wide open as the northern hemisphere’s best teams prepare to lock horns once again this weekend. France sit top of the standings after beating England and Italy in their opening two games, while Ireland have also taken maximum points thus far. However, the French face a tricky trip to Cardiff on Saturday and the Irish are underdogs according to the betting in their game against England at Twickenham on Sunday. Victories for Wales and England this weekend could have huge ramifications in the battle for silverware, but the visiting teams are in magnificent form, so we should expect some exhilarating clashes.
France have seriously exceeded expectations so far. They finished second from bottom last year after losing three of their five games, but they have been on an upward curve since then. They suffered a narrow defeat to Wales in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup, and talented youngsters like Antoine Dupont continue to go from strength to strength.
France were big underdogs when they hosted England in Paris for their Six Nations opener, but they played with great intensity and tries from Vincent Rattez and Charles Ollivon saw them leading 17-0 at half-time. England fought back in the second half, but France eventually closed out a 24-17 victory. Les Bleus followed it up with a routine bonus point victory over perennial whipping boys Italy and they now lead the standings.
Ireland can also be proud of their achievements so far. They edged a tense match against Scotland and then beat Wales 24-14. However, both of those games took place in Dublin and it will be interesting to see if that can replicate that form on their travels. The Irish have a new manager in Andy Farrell and an exciting, new-look team featuring the likes of Stuart McCloskey, Caelan Doris, Max Deegan, Ultan Dillane, John Cooney, Jack O’Donoghue and Billy Burns, and they will take great confidence from their first two matches.
England went into the Six Nations as heavy favourites to seize the crown after going all the way to the final at the World Cup. However, that surprise defeat to France may have dented their chances. It was a messy, fractured display from Eddie Jones’ men. For the first time since 1988, they found themselves scoreless at the halfway point of a Six Nations or Five Nations match, and the deficit was too great to make up after the break.
However, they bounced back with a 13-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield, and they can now look forward to two home games before a trip to Italy on March 14. The odds have lengthened on England winning the Six Nations, but they remain the favourites. Jones’ men are priced at 7/4 in the outright rugby odds, with France and Ireland now both 9/4.
Wales are the defending champions, and they began their campaign by destroying Italy in Cardiff. However, they will be disappointed by the nature of their 24-14 defeat to Ireland. Farrell’s side ran in four tries to hand Wales a first Six Nations defeat in nine outings.
Tomos Williams was at fault by gifting Ireland a perfect opportunity when he dropped a regulation catch on his own 5-metre line. They also failed to cause enough problems for the hosts’ solid defensive structure. Wales are now 9/1 underdogs to defend their Six Nations crown.
The fight to avoid the wooden spoon could boil down to a straight battle between Italy and Scotland, who are both winless after two games. The Italians lost 42-0 to Wales and then 35-22 to France, suggesting defensive frailties. Scotland have looked more durable, but back-to-back defeats against Ireland and England have made it a gloomy tournament so far for their long-suffering fans.
Six Nations Betting Markets
England remain the narrow favourites in the Outright (60-40-20-10-5-0) Index ahead of the weekend’s action. In this rugby spread betting market, the winner is given 60 points, the team that finishes second gets 40 points and so on. England currently have a spread of 37-40, meaning you can buy at 40 if you think they will impress in their subsequent games, or sell at 37 if you believe they will struggle.
Ireland are 34-37 in this market, while France are priced at 33-36 and Wales are 18-21. In the 100 Index, where the winner is given 100 points and every other team gets zero, England lead the way at 35-31, while France are next at 26-32.
Markets like Total Points, Total Tries and Total Shirts are all hugely down from original quotes, as only one game has seen more than 50 points so far. The initial quote for the Lowest Scoring Match was 21-22 points, but Scotland’s game against England featured just 19. Storm Ciara can take some of the credit for that.
It is also interesting to note that there has only been one yellow card from the six matches so far, as the teams have been very well disciplined. Total Yellow Cards is now priced at 7.5-8 and Total Red Cards is 0.8-1. There have been 26 tries so far, and Total Tries is now priced at 71-73.
Six Nations Gameweek 3 Action
The first game of the weekend sees Scotland take on Italy in Rome. Scotland are the 3/10 favourites in the Six Nations rugby odds on that match, while the hosts are out at 13/5. You can find 11/10 on Scotland -9.5 points in the handicap betting, or Italy +6.5 is also 11/10. Scotland have been assigned a Match Supremacy Index of 6-9 over Italy in the rugby spread betting. Whoever prevails in this game could avoid the ignominy of the wooden spoon.
Next up France will face a stern test of their mettle in Cardiff. Wales are 2/5 favourites or priced at 23/20 with a -7.5 handicap. France +4.5 is 11/10 or an outright win for France is 7/4. In the spread betting, Wales have a 4-7 Match Supremacy Index. If they win this game, they will get their bid to defend the trophy back on track and blow the tournament wide open, but an away win would leave France firmly in the driving seat.
The final game of the weekend takes place on Sunday. England beat Ireland 32-20 in Dublin last year, and the new-look Irish team will be desperate for revenge when they play at Twickenham this weekend. However, England have a 6-9 point Supremacy Index for this game, and they are the 1/3 favourites in the fixed odds betting. Ireland are out at 12/5, and you can also take 20/21 on Ireland +7. England -7 is 10/11 and England -10.5 is 7/5.