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Six Nations Week 2 Betting Preview – Odds, Predictions and Picks for All Three Games

| February 8, 2019 12:00 am PDT
Six Nations Week 2 Betting Preview

To many observers, Saturday’s colossal clash between defending champion Ireland and a resurgent England was the one to watch.

Despite being touted as a potential championship decider by many across the pond, there was no doubt that England would need to find a performance for the ages to take the win in Dublin.

Eddie Jones’ men certainly did that, blasting Ireland away with power, pace, and persistence to win 32-20.

Joe Schmidt’s men — who were considerable favorites ahead of the clash — were coming off the back of the most successful year in their history.

A Six Nations Grand Slam preceded their first-ever series win in Australia, with the year ending with an exceptional win over the defending world champions, New Zealand, at the Aviva Stadium.

However, the team looked nothing like the class of 2018 and were outthought in almost every department by the Red Rose.

While England’s win was the big story of the first round of fixtures, there were certainly more talking points to take from the weekend. The 2019 Six Nations opener was undoubtedly as dramatic a game as you are ever likely to see.

Wales overturned a 16-0 half-time deficit to beat France 24-19 in Paris, with the French completely capitulating in comedic circumstances. With a trip to London on the cards this Sunday, they will be hoping to put the wrongs of that game right with a huge performance.

Elsewhere, Scotland got off to a flying start against perennial whipping boys, Italy. A hat-trick of tries from Blair Kinghorn was the highlight of the Scots’ performance, although Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell also had outstanding games.

There is no doubting the potency of Scotland’s attack, but they will need to step up a gear in order to see off an Irish team that will be licking their wounds.

Six Nations 2019 Odds Following Week 1

Last weekend, the Six Nations lived up to its reputation as one of the most truly exciting tournaments in the world. England fans will certainly be hoping that things continue to go their way in Week 2.

From a betting perspective, it’s looking good for the Red Rose. The pre-championship favorite, Ireland, has been replaced by England. Wales is now the second favorite to lift the trophy on March 16, with Ireland just behind them.

Here are the latest odds for the 2019 Six Nations winner.

England-140
Wales+250
Ireland+600
Scotland+1000
France+6600
Italy+100000

Odds provided by MyBookie are accurate as of February 7, 2019.

Week 1 Recap – English Joy, French Agony, Scottish Optimism

For anyone who doubts that rugby is an excellent game to bet on, Week 1 of the Six Nations will have surely proven otherwise.

For those who were successful with their predictions last week, congratulations. To everyone else, it’s always a good idea to think about your losing predictions and to do your best not to make the same mistakes twice.

Of course, betting is not always that simple.

Here is a brief summary of Week 1’s action of the Six Nations.

England Ambushes Ireland in Dublin

Was anyone expecting that kind of performance from England?

The same question could be asked of Ireland. Prior to the game in Dublin, the momentum was certainly with the men in green, given the magnitude of their performances over the past 12 months.

The English, having finished 5th last year, certainly proved that a year is a very long time in rugby.

From the get-go, there was an intensity and verve to Owen Farrell and co. that was very ominous from the perspective of an Irish fan.

It seemed almost disrespectful to carry this attitude into a game against a team ranked second-best in the world. Ireland had not been beaten at home in over two years and had never lost a home match in the Six Nations under their boss, Joe Schmidt.

Regardless, the English were not there to pay respects. When the excellent Jonny May crossed the Irish try line after just two minutes, the marker was laid down.

Standout players on the day included the Vunipola brothers, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly, Henry Slade, and, of course, the impressive captain, Farrell, who all worked their socks off to register the finest performance under the incumbent boss, Jones.

Beating Ireland is one thing. Heading to the fortress that is the Aviva Stadium and completely dominating towards a bonus-point victory is another.

The physicality and smarts on display by the English completely nullified Ireland’s possession game. Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, arguably the best half-back combination in the world, looked utterly clueless.

The big game players were simply outplayed with England now establishing themselves as the team to beat in this year’s competition.

France Literally Throws It Away

I would be happy to wager that there are few things as frustrating in this world as being a French rugby fan.

Despite being renowned at one time as the purveyors of beautiful, creative rugby, these days, France is as inconsistent as the wind. Rugby fans like to say that when France plays, you don’t know what team will turn up (the good or the bad). On Friday night, both did.

Despite the slippery Parisian conditions, Jacques Brunel’s men were excellent for the first 40 minutes, registering 16 unanswered points against a solid Welsh team. This was truly a game of two halves, and Wales ensured that they would not be leaving the French capital without at least putting up a fight.

While French fans can lament a complete collapse in the second half, you have to give Wales respect for turning things around.

Tries by Tomas Williams and George North ensured that Warren Gatland’s team kept their impressive unbeaten run intact.

While North profited from Yoann Huget’s unthinkable defensive blunder — and capitalized on an awful pass by Sebastien Vahaamahina to run in a second — Wales showed the type of grit and determination that champions are made of.

Although they were poor by their own standards, they took their chances.

Wales, who has slipped to fourth in the World Rugby Rankings despite the win (as England beat Ireland last Saturday), is a genuine contender for the crown this year. A 24-19 win in Paris is a good place to start.

Now, they head to Rome this Saturday with the wind in their sails and the desire to rack up a bonus-point win over Conor O’Shea’s men. Expect a blitz from the Welsh at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend.

Scotland Starts as They Mean to Go On

Not too long ago, Italy was seen as more than just a potential banana skin for Scotland. On the opening weekend of the tournament, Gregor Townsend’s team ensured that this was not to be the case.

Having experienced steady progress under the direction of Scotland’s former fly-half, this was a game that they were expected to win. It finished 33-20, although it could have — and should have — been more.

Scotland will be happy, at least, to have picked up a bonus-point win.

Blair Kinghorn was the standout player on the day, registering three tries and setting the pace. Despite playing on the wing, he looked electric and repaid Townsend’s faith in starting him in a position that wasn’t his favored fullback role.

The 22-year-old’s lightning pace caused the Italians a lot of trouble on the day.

Despite the heroics of Kinghorn, Finn Russell, and Stuart Hogg, Scotland will be concerned about leaking tries. They appeared to take their foot off the gas towards the end of the game — conceding three tries in 10 minutes — which will be worrying given the visit of last year’s champions, Ireland, this Saturday.

However, having seen what England did to the men in green, Townsend will be only too aware of how important intensity will be to their chances of overcoming the threat of the “Green Machine.”

For Italy, there were a few positives to take from the game. They scored 20 points against a solid Scotland team and showed some improvements in key areas around the field.

Although playing with a lack of expectation, Italy needs to do more to justify their place in the tournament going forward, with some questioning their right to participate in the Six Nations at all.

It’s clearly unlikely they’ll beat Wales this weekend, but it’s far from out of the question.

Six Nations 2019 Week 2 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks

This coming weekend features another trio of games that are guaranteed to prove pivotal for each team’s chances of lifting the trophy.

Ireland will be only too aware of the massive task facing them as they head to Murrayfield, while Scotland will be hoping to capitalize on England’s “softening up” of the champions.

A loss for the Irish in Edinburgh would effectively end Joe Schmidt’s chances of picking up one final championship at the helm of the Shamrock.

Wales’ visit to Italy might be seen by some as a walk in the park for Gatland and his men.

Regardless, Italy will be fired up and confident of denting the Dragons, given the positive signs displayed against Scotland in Week 1.

But with the opportunity to register their first bonus-point win of the championship, the Welsh will be hellbent on racking up the scores, meaning Italy’s defense will need to be the best it has been in some time.

In Sunday’s game, England hosts France in what was once labeled “Le Crunch” on account of the fixture commonly deciding who would emerge as champions of the tournament.

While France is not fancied by many to pick up their first title since 2010’s Grand Slam campaign, they are far from an easy task for Owen Farrell and co. A win for France would certainly blow the championship wide open once more.

So, the question is, who are you backing in each game?

Let’s take a look at every fixture in a bit more detail, starting with Scotland vs. Ireland.

Scotland vs. Ireland

Scotland+210
Ireland-250
Draw+2500
Scotland (+6.5)-115
Ireland (-6.5)-115

Odds provided for this game and others are by Bovada and are accurate as of February 7, 2019.

Robbie Henshaw’s first stint as starting fullback for Ireland may not have worked out the way he would have wanted to. Excellent positioning is key for anyone playing in the number 15 jersey, and Henshaw simply looked out of sorts against England.

Against Scotland, it appears that the Leinster man will slot back into the center alongside former Connacht teammate Bundee Aki, with Garry Ringrose injured.

Ireland will also have to do without the highly-influential CJ Stander for this fixture, as well as Devin Toner. Both men are crucial to Joe Schmidt’s game plan, although even with the absences of Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne, the men in green will have suitable cover.

Scotland, on the other hand, has just one injury casualty of note in WP Nel.

The key questions ahead of this intriguing fixture mostly revolve around Ireland’s response to last week’s humbling defeat to England. Accusations of overconfidence and complacency have been thrown at the team, which is bound to get a stir out of the Irish.

Although there were few positives in Week 1 for Ireland, this is a team of notoriously slow starters in the Six Nations. As such, expect a big performance this week from a team that will be happy to prove that they have not turned poor overnight.

While Scotland’s pace — especially in their backline — can punish Ireland, the visitors will be doing everything in their power to ensure that their opponents don’t get much of the ball.

Having studied England’s tactics last week, Townsend will want to see Ireland’s rush defense exploited, so expect Russell, Hogg, and Laidlaw to kick behind Stockdale and Earls. The only problem with Scotland replicating England’s game, however, is that they are not England.

This will be evident at the final whistle.

PICKIreland (-6.5)-115

Italy vs. Wales

Italy+1300
Wales-2500
Draw+5000
Italy (+20)-115
Wales (-20)-115

You have to go back to March 2007 in the Stadio Flaminio in Rome for the last win Italy has registered over Wales. That day, Italy emerged as the victor by the tightest margin (23-20), having battled to an 18-18 draw in Cardiff.

The only other competitive win the Italians have over the Principality was back in 2003. This fixture has almost always gone in favor of the men in the red shirts, and this time is unlikely to be different.

For the most part, Wales has put some huge scores on the Italians, with 2016’s 67-14 spanking in the Welsh capital and 2015’s 61-20 hammering in Rome being notable examples of the gulf between the teams.

Wales won 38-14 last year, despite being under pressure in parts of the game. It remains to be seen if the Italians have improved since then, but there were signs in their loss to Scotland that they are making progress.

Wales is another team that might consider themselves as slow starters. Last week certainly added weight to that argument. However, the Welsh will be more than aware of making the same mistakes against Italy as they did in their encounter with France in Paris.

Rather than wanting to play catch-up against a team in their own backyard, we will likely see Wales come out of the blocks with all guns blazing.

This, in itself, is bad news for Italy.

Unfortunately for the Azzurri, I believe Wales will be on a mission to rack up their points count in Rome. They are among the fittest teams in the championship, if not the fittest, and will be aiming to cross the line as much as possible.

With quality all over the park — especially in their back row and backline — you can expect a powerful performance from a team challenging their first championship win since 2013.

PICKWales (-20)-115

England vs. France

England-650
France+450
Draw+3300
England (-12.5)-115
France (+12.5)-115

From 5th place in last year’s competition to being touted as Grand Slam winners, if last week’s excellent performance proves one thing, it’s that one game in rugby can change everything.

You cannot take anything away from the intensity and street smarts displayed by Eddie Jones’ men in Dublin last week. They were first to every exchange and looked like a team possessed.

The concern for the Red Rose is if they can demonstrate that same level of 80-minute dominance against a French team that has quality in their ranks.

Despite a mind-bending collapse against Wales in the second half of the opening game, they played some of the best rugby we have seen from them in some time in the first.

With the heaviest-ever pack in world rugby, a wily, sniping, and experienced scrumhalf in Morgan Parra, in addition to top-class backs in Huget, Fofana, and Medard, they will be no pushovers.

However, if England can replicate even 70% of the performance they registered against Ireland, France will struggle.

The reason why England has dominated the headlines in rugby since the weekend is on account of just how much control they imposed over a team that is widely believed to be more than good enough to win the World Cup in 2019.

Momentum is key in rugby. Anyone involved in the sport will happily tell you that. England is a team with a lot of momentum heading into this game, and they will not want to disappoint a raucous home crowd who believes that this is simply the second step towards a Grand Slam.

The question is: can they handle the pressure? Will the “good” France turn up, or will this be a rout?

I believe France will push the English in a tightly contested battle.

PICKFrance (-12.5)-115

Final Thoughts

The second round of the Six Nations is almost upon us, and what an interesting set of games we have ahead of us.

Granted, Italy vs. Wales might be the easiest pick of the bunch, but the Welsh will have to work hard to see the Azzurri off. Conor O’Shea’s men will be fired up for this clash and will be keen to show that they deserve to be a part of Europe’s premier rugby tournament.

A win for Italy is unlikely, but nothing is impossible.

Ireland is another team that will be looking to banish the gloom of Week 1. While England put in one of their finest performances of the 21st century in Dublin, the Irish will undoubtedly be feeling the effects of being put to the sword.

A big response is needed against a Scotland team in the ascendancy and one that has designs on what will be their second championship in 20 years (as the final Five Nations champions).

Then, the final game of the weekend, where the team of Week 1, England, will be aiming to prove to everyone that their win in Dublin was no fluke. Fired up and unfriendly, the English will take to the field in Twickenham looking to dispatch of a team that has the ability to throw a spanner in the works for Eddie Jones’ men.

Regardless of your allegiances, Week 2 of the Six Nations is set to be another mini-festival of mouth-watering rugby.

Will the favorites get the results they require to move forward to Week 3 with designs on the trophy, or will the underdogs have their say in changing the existing landscape of the tournament?

Two of the greatest things about this championship are that nothing can be taken for granted, and on match day, anything can happen.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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