Free tips Rugby Union: 2017 Six Nations Betting Tip
RUGBY UNION 2017 SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW, PREDICTIONS & BETTING TIPS
Saturday 4th February to Saturday 18th March. Live on BBC & ITV.
RUGBY UNION SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTIONS
RUGBY UNION SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER PREDICTION:
Ireland at 5/2 with 888Sport
REASONS FOR RUGBY UNION SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING TIPS
The Six Nations Championship 2017 could be one of the most competitive yet, with every team bar Italy having reason for at least cautious optimism going into the tournament.
England go into the Six Nations as reigning Grand Slam champions and favourites (19/20 with Boylesports) to retain their title. On the back of a 14-match winning streak, 13 of which have come under coach Eddie Jones, it’s perfectly understandable why England have been installed as slight odds-on for the Six Nations championship.
Should they beat France at Twickenham in their opening match, they will set a new England record for consecutive wins, but they do have a number of injury concerns and absences to contend with.
Second favourites are Ireland (5/2 at 888sport) and having beaten Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2016 (the first Northern Hemisphere nation to do so since England in 2003), they must be considered strong contenders. Coach Joe Schmidt has signed a new contract taking him up to the 2019 World Cup, so there is a certainty as to the future.
Wales (8/1 with William Hill) came close to winning last year’s Six Nations, but look to have gone backwards since then after struggling in the Autumn Internationals. Rob Howley is back as interim coach whilst Warren Gatland focuses his attentions on the British and Irish Lions’ summer tour of New Zealand. Where Wales might have an edge is that they face both England and Ireland in Cardiff.
France (14/1 at Betfred) were World Cup finalists in 2011, but they’ve not achieved a great deal since then. With away games in London and Dublin, it’s difficult to see Les Bleus competing for the title, but they will certainly expect to improve on their fifth place finish in 2016.
Vern Cotter will be in charge of Scotland (25/1 with Skybet) for the last time prior to returning to club rugby in France with Montpellier. It’s arguably Scotland’s best squad in a generation and they could cause a surprise or two, although it’s difficult to see them having enough to be crowned champions.
Italy are, as ever, the rank outsiders (2000/1 with Paddy Power) and the best that new head coach Conor O’Shea can realistically hope for is to be competitive and perhaps record a victory along the way.
To add to the intrigue, there is a new trial bonus points system in place to “encourage and reward try scoring and attacking play”:
- A win = 4 points
- A win with 4 or more tries = 5 points
- A defeat = 0 points
- A defeat by 7 points or less OR whilst scoring 4 or more tries = 1 point
- A defeat by 7 points or less AND whilst scoring 4 or more tries = 2 points
- A draw = 2 points
- A draw whilst scoring 4 or more tries = 3 points
- Grand Slam (winning all 5 matches) = 3 additional points (ensuring that if a team wins every match they will be declared champions, whatever bonus points their nearest challengers may obtain)
The decisive factor could potentially be that the tournament will finish with Ireland and England facing each other in Dublin. If the title is still up for grabs at that stage, then Ireland could take some stopping in front of their own supporters and they look worth a punt at 5/2 with 888sport to reclaim the title they surrendered so easily last year.