Ireland have all the momentum coming into the Six Nations this year, with the provinces excelling in Europe and a relatively unscathed team when it comes to injuries, especially when compared with Wales and England.
With the addition of exciting youngsters in Stockdale and Larmour, and an in-form Keith Earls, Joe Schmidt now has some flair wingers that can make something out of nothing – an x-factor that Ireland have arguably lacked in previous years.
For those reasons we see an Irish victory this year.
Ireland have been backed in from 13/5 to 6/4 in recent weeks, but Scotland are another who are proving popular with the punters following impressive performances in the Autumn Internationals. We are seeing money coming in for them for the Grand Slam and Triple Crown too.
Wales have also proved a popular selection in the Wooden Spoon market, with their injury crisis no doubt being factored in by the punters.
Tournament Best Bets
Gareth Davies Top Tryscorer – 40/1
With Rhys Webb injured Davies will start at scrum half for Wales and like his injured teammate is a tryscoring machine. With Wales with fixtures that look likely to be high scoring affairs near the tail end of the championship we fancy Davies to cross the whitewash a fair few times
Italy +20 v England – Evens
The Italian teams have been steadily improving in the Pro 14 this year, while the English teams have been struggling in the Champions Cup with only Saracens squeezing through.
On top of that the English have been hit with injuries, Billy Vunipola the biggest loss. Conor O’Shea outsmarted England last year with Ruck-gate and will be keen to have the English players looking baffled again with their tactics. Traditionally Italy tend to start the Six nations strongly so this is why we fancy the +20.
Wales v Scotland – First score of the game – Wales penalty – 6/4
The Welsh always take a mantra into international games under Gatland to take their points early on and with the Scottish scrum expected to struggle and leak a few penalties we fancy this.