England Trash Talking Doing Their Six Nations Odds No Favours
Verbal volleys aimed at Six Nations favourites Ireland are only decreasing England’s chances of beating Joe Schmidt’s troops on the tournament’s opening weekend, according to punters.
The 2019 instalment begins on Friday with the opening fixture between France and Wales on Friday (8pm GMT) followed by Scotland against Italy on Saturday afternoon (2.15pm GMT).
Those fixtures serve as mere curtain raisers for the main event of the opening round, though, with Ireland vs England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin (Saturday, 4.45pm GMT) set to take centre stage thereafter.
As if the game needed any extra bite, England defence coach John Mitchell opened the verbal sparring in match-week by claiming Ireland “will try to bore the s**t out of us”.
And although the New Zealander did admit the Irish are the best rugby team in the world on current form, Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby dismissed the ‘boring’ comment as nothing more than a throw-away slur.
It certainly appears to have riled Ireland’s backers in the match betting, with some of the best rugby bookmakers forced to trim their odds on an Ireland win from 1/3 to 1/4 after a spike in stakes placed.
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That said, there’s been little movement in the outright market as Ireland remain 4/5 favourites across the board as they’re expected to retain their Six Nations crown, with England widely available at 7/2.
Punters are not ruling out the often-underestimated Welsh, however, who are well backed with multiple bookies at 5/1 and they could have a big say in where the title goes if nothing else.
Indeed, with both England and Ireland having to travel to Cardiff later in the tournament, there’s logic in those betting trends.
Meanwhile, Owen Farrell has declared himself fit for England’s opener against Ireland which should set up an intriguing battle with 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton in the top point scorer betting market.
Farrell, who had a small operation on his hand a matter of weeks ago, is the slight underdog (3/1) in the betting, with favourite Sexton priced 9/4 in what is regarded as a two-horse race.
Elsewhere, Ireland’s rising star Jacob Stockdale (4/1) is the clear favourite in the tournament’s top try scorer betting.
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