Six Nations Betting: What Are The Odds On The 2023 Championship Winner?
The Six Nations Championship is just around the corner and betting sites are offering their two cents on who will emerge as the overall winners of the competition.
Bridging a gap of 12 years, a reinvigorated France finished on top of the pile in 2022.
Under the guidance of former scrum-half Fabien Galthié, Les Bleus enjoyed an unbeaten march through the Championship with the half-back pairing of Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont inspiring them to significant heights.
A Grand Slam success was thrown into the mix, but with Ireland breathing down their necks until the final round of fixtures, they wouldn’t have earned the Championship title without a winning sequence of five games.
This year is set to be a big one for French rugby, given they will be the hosts and one of the favourites in the Rugby World Cup 2023 betting odds.
Winning the bid for the 10th edition of this men’s international tournament has inspired France to get their act together on the pitch and the feel-good factor around the squad is high in advance of their defence of the Six Nations.
Ireland Edge Out France As Six Nations Favourites
Nevertheless, the fallow period that preceded their 2022 triumph means UK bookmakers are reluctant to make them Championship favourites this spring.
Instead, last year’s Six Nations Triple Crown winners Ireland are being backed to do the business.
The number one ranked team in world rugby, Andy Farrell’s men made headlines in the summer of 2022 with a ground-breaking series win down in New Zealand.
Although their performances weren’t necessarily of the vintage variety, the Green Army recorded consecutive victories against South Africa, Fiji and Australia in the Autumn Nations Series that took place at the end of the year.
Team captain Johnny Sexton and tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong are expected to be fit for the opening round clash with Wales in Cardiff on February 4, and rugby betting sites are convinced Ireland have what it takes to claim a third Six Nations crown.
The bookies are offering odds of 11/8 on Ireland winning this year’s competition.
With 16 wins and just three defeats from their last 19 international tests, Farrell’s men are certainly the team to beat.
France Still In With A Shot Of Retaining Title
Of those three reversals suffered by Ireland, two of them were at the hands of France.
This makes Les Bleus a dangerous proposition and the defending champions are unsurprisingly second favourites in the hunt for the Six Nations crown.
In the eyes of Paddy Power, the French are rated at 13/8 to earn back-to-back Championships.
There are also a number of bookmakers that have them valued at 6/4 and their Six Nations candidacy certainly shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
England An Outside Bet, But Still Worth Considering
Across the competition’s various guises - Home Nations, Five Nations and Six Nations - England remain on top of the roll of honours list with 29 outright triumphs and 10 shared titles.
Since the conclusion of the 2015 World Cup, three Championships have gone the way of the English - including a Grand Slam in 2016.
However, there has been a downward slope since their 2020 victory with four wins in the past 10 Six Nations games contributing in some way to the RFU’s decision to terminate the contract of head coach Eddie Jones less than a year out from a World Cup.
His successor Steve Borthwick is expected to bring some stability to the English ranks, and it is enough to make them third favourites at 9/2 with Ladbrokes for the Championship.
There is no denying that they are capable of turning in big performances - particularly on their home soil of Twickenham Stadium - and the 2003 world champions certainly haven’t become a bad team overnight.
Gatland Not Expected To Work The Oracle
There was also a major change in the coaching structure of Wales, with Warren Gatland returning to the hot seat in place of his fellow New Zealander Wayne Pivac.
Despite winning the Six Nations in 2021 - and coming perilously close to claiming a Grand Slam - Wales registered just one win from five games in the 2020 and 2022 editions of the tournament.
Form of that kind was never going to sit well with the Welsh public, but shock losses to Italy and Georgia across last year’s international calendar meant Pivac’s position was effectively untenable.
Though Gatland is a serial winner of the Six Nations, it is expected that such a success will be out of Wales' reach this year.
Odds on them getting their hands on the Championship trophy can be found at 14/1 with Bet365.
Scotland Search For A Six Nations Set To Continue
Similarly, Scotland are seen as unlikely hopefuls for what would be a maiden Six Nations triumph (they were the last winners of the Five Nations in 1999).
Their head coach Gregor Townsend certainly can’t be excused of not thinking outside the box with former Ireland U20s Grand Slam champion Ben Healy and ex-England senior international Ruaridh McConnochie drafted into their squad for this year’s Championship.
The Scots are arguably in a healthier position than either England or Wales, having produced strong performances against Australia, New Zealand and Argentina in the recent Autumn Nations Series.
Still, odds of 25/1 are being offered by 888sport, which suggests they are big outsiders for Six Nations glory.
Italy Not Expected To Be Serious Contenders
Following a run of 36 games without tasting success, Italy finally got over the line with a spectacular 22-21 win at the expense of Wales in the final round of last year’s Championship.
Having previously made strides at club level in Italy with Benetton, Kieran Crowley is putting some good building blocks in place with the national side.
An autumn victory against Australia served further notice of their potential, but a shot at the Six Nations title is still some way out of their grasp.
The most charitable price on offer for an Italian Championship success are 250/1, while BoyleSports go as high as 1,000/1 on such an outcome occurring.
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