Six Nations Betting Tips - Week 2

Six Nations Betting Tips - Week 2


The 2024 Six Nations began with a bang as Ireland beat France in Marseille last Friday, before England and Scotland were made to battle for victories away in Italy and Wales.

It promises to be just as bruising in the second week of the tournament, with the French heading to Murrayfield and the Welsh travelling to Twickenham on Saturday, while Sunday's game sees the reigning champions host the Azzurri in Dublin.

  • Scotland to beat France
  • Wales +12
  • Italy +34


Scotland vs France

Scotland won their opener 27-26 in Wales, their first success in the Welsh capital since 2002, but the scoreline does not tell the story alone. Gregor Townsend's team led 27-0 after Duhan van der Merwe's converted 42nd-minute try.

They should have cruised to a victory but lost their discipline, conceding 14 penalties in a row to allow Wales to get within a whisker of completing an historic comeback.

New captain Finn Russell was scathing of his team's performance, accusing his colleagues of failing to follow orders from both himself and the coaching staff.

Scotland will need to improve, especially around the ruck, an area of the game in which France also struggled in their 38-17 defeat to Ireland.

The French are the favourites heading into their trip to Murrayfield, but there are rumours of internal issues within the camp, with doubts over coach Fabien Galthie's selection policy, man-management skills and tactics. 

They are also without talismanic captain and scrum-half Antoine Dupont, who has decided to skip the Six Nations due to his desire to earn a place in France's Sevens squad for the Olympics.

This decision raised further eyebrows as he starred while playing as a fly-half for club side Toulouse in his final game before joining up with the Sevens camp. 

Dupont's replacement, Maxime Lucu, failed to provide quick ball to his backs against Ireland, but was left exposed by his lethargic forwards, who were slow to the ruck and also a man down following Paul Willemse's first-half dismissal.

France have won three of the last four meetings, but on the evidence of the opening 45 or so minutes in Cardiff and the rumours about an unsettled Les Bleus dressing room, Scotland could repeat last year's achievement of winning their opening two games of the Six Nations.

SCOTLAND TO BEAT FRANCE



Scotland vs France Teams

Scotland: 15 Kyle Rowe, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell (cc), 9 Ben White, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge (cc), 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Bench: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Andy Christie, 21 George Horne, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Cameron Redpath

France:: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Grégory Alldritt (c), 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 François Cros, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille

Bench: 16 Julien Marchard, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Posolo Tuilagi, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Paul Boudehent, 22 Nolann Le Garrec, 23 Yoram Moefana



England vs Wales

Wales coach Warren Gatland has been open about using the Six Nations to rebuild his side after losing a flurry of players following last year's World Cup due to retirements and other circumstances.

Saturday's comeback was encouraging, but the Kiwi will be aware that his team were terrible early on against the Scots and will need to improve their basics in time for the trip to Twickenham.

England made a winning start by beating Italy 27-24 and, as promised by boss Steve Borthwick in the build-up to the tournament, played with more adventure in Rome.

However, with both new players and a fresh approach to their attack, the Red Rose's offensive play was inevitably clunky.

Their recently-arrived defence coach Felix Jones also has some areas he will want to improve, with a couple of Italy's tries undoubtedly avoidable. 

Jones may also hold a concern over fly-half George Ford's defence.

The diminutive playmaker was pinpointed by Italy and did not always stand up to the challenge, so it would be no surprise to see Wales number eight Aaron Wainwright charge down his channel at every opportunity, while centre Nick Tompkins might not be too far behind.

England will take time to adjust to their new style on both sides of the ball and, while they should be good enough to win at Twickenham, Wales could push them close.

The old rivals met three times in 2023, with England winning twice. All of those matches were decided by 11 or fewer points and Saturday's meeting could result in a similar scoreline in England's favour.

WALES +12 HANDICAP



England vs Wales Teams

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Joe Marler

Bench: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Danny Care, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

Wales: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Alex Mann, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Dafydd Jenkins (c), 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Gareth Thomas

Bench: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Archie Griffin, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Cai Evans, 23 Mason Grady



Ireland vs Italy

The early signs for Italy under new boss Gonzalo Quesada are undeniably positive, with the Argentine appearing to have tightened things up after the way the Azzurri played with under his predecessor Kieran Crowley.

The Italians' exuberance under Crowley was encouraging and were always good to watch. Still, that willingness to run the ball from everywhere, without the requisite skill levels, led to defensive vulnerability and often saw them concede unnecessary tries and leak points through unforced errors.

They next face an Ireland side chasing unprecedented back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams and although a victory is unlikely, they will expect to be competitive in Dublin.

Italy often tail off during the Championship as injuries expose their lack of depth and it will be interesting to see how they deal with the absence of blockbuster flanker Seb Negri due to a rib injury.

An otherwise similar side to one that tested England could do the same to Ireland, who may look to rotate, as was the case when the pair met in last year's tournament.

The Irish are again very much the team to beat and should grab the victory on Sunday with a bit to spare.

Andy Farrell's side do have weaknesses, though, with them occasionally becoming overly reliant on captain Peter O'Mahony's excellence in the line-out when their hookers are struggling to find their other jumpers.

Loosehead prop Andrew Porter's scrummaging also proved problematic as his side crashed out in the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup and he was undoubtedly targeted in the win over France.

These are issues that can be managed and Ireland should record another bonus-point victory in their first match of the year in front of their home crowd in Dublin.

That said, Italy look like they are being underestimated by the oddsmakers and could get inside what generally appear to be generous handicap marks.

ITALY +34 HANDICAP

Ireland vs Italy Teams

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Caelan Doris (c), 6 Ryan Baird, 5 James Ryan, 4 Joe McCarthy, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter

Bench: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour

Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Lorenzo Pani, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro (c), 7 Manuel Zuliani, 6 Alessandro Izekor, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti

Bench: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, Andrea Zambonin, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Martin Page-Relo, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Federico Mori


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