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6 Nations Betting – Round 1

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
France (-18)HandicapEvensBet365, Betfred
Scotland (+5.5)Handicap11/10Paddy Power
WalesHandicap7/5Coral

We preview the opening games of the 2016 Six Nations Championship, including champions Ireland hosting France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday.

France v Italy

BBC1 Saturday 6th February / 2.25pm

The RBS 6 Nations begins with France hosting Italy on Saturday afternoon, with the hosts no bigger than a 1/12 chance with Winner to get their campaign off to a winning start. France have won 35 of their 38 internationals against Italy, with their only home defeat coming in 1997, before the Azzurri entered this competition. France, now coached by veteran former Toulouse boss Guy Noves, won 32-10 when the two countries met at Twickenham in the World Cup and 29-0 in Rome during last year’s 6 Nations. They have won the last three meetings by 20, 29 and 22 points and six of the seven Paris fixtures in this competition by 18 or more. Italy are a better side than when they first entered the tournament, but they still rely too heavily on a small core of quality players. A triumphant revolution is unlikely under Noves, but France can beat a handicap of 18 here.

Scotland v England

BBC1 Saturday 6th February / 4.50pm

Saturday’s second match sees Scotland bid to end a six-match losing streak against England and earn a first Calcutta Cup victory since 2008. Scotland have beaten England only three times in the last 25 meetings in this competition and were thrashed 20-0 the last time the two great rivals met at Murrayfield in 2014. However, the Scots have improved greatly under Vern Cotter and have the firepower to get plenty of points on the board, as they proved in the World Cup. England, who will be playing their first game under new coach Eddie Jones, are 1/2 with William Hill to win the match, compared to a best of 1/5 for this fixture two years ago, underlining how the gap between the two teams has closed. Scotland are 3/1 in the match betting with Stan James. Given how they pushed Australia mighty close at the World Cup, there will be plenty of Scots eager to snap up those odds, while the more level-headed may opt to back them on the handicaps. Paddy Power offer 11/10 on the home side with a 5.5 point start.

Ireland v France

ITV1 Sunday 7th February / 3pm

Sunday’s clash between back-to-back champions Ireland and the 2012 and 2013 winners Wales is sure to play a significant role in defining the course of the competition. England may be the favourites to claim the title, but these two have been the strongest teams in the tournament over the last four years. Ireland have been able to maintain their level despite the loss of several stars to retirement and will need to continue to regenerate following Paul O’Connell’s exit, while things have been more stable for Wales, who have fewer of the injury problems which damaged their World Cup prospects. Wales have edged things in recent years, winning five of the last eight meetings, including a 16-10 success in a World Cup warm-up in August. Ireland are 8/11 with William Hill in the match betting, with the visitors at 7/5 with Coral. Take Wales to cause a minor upset.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
France (-18)HandicapEvensBet365, Betfred
Scotland (+5.5)Handicap11/10Paddy Power
WalesHandicap7/5Coral