Six Nations Betting: What Are The Odds On The 2022 Championship Winner?
There may be two teams remaining in the hunt for the prize, but this hasn't prevented France being a clear favourite in the race for this year’s Six Nations Championship as the competition enters its final round.
The best betting sites are offering their take on who will finish top of the pile in one of rugby union’s most prestigious international showcases and while Ireland could pull off their fourth Six Nations success in the space of nine years, it is expected that there will be a French coronation in Saint-Denis this weekend.
A win over England on the final day of the 2022 Championship would also secure a Six Nations Grand Slam and given their failure to pick up either prize since 2010, Saturday could prove to be one of the most memorable in the recent history of Les Bleus.
France Have Been The Favourites From A Long Way Out
Since overcoming Ireland in the second round of the competition on February 12, France have been the frontrunners in the 2022 Six Nations betting odds and it is easy to see why. Even before their campaign had begun, there was a feelgood vibe surrounding this French team.
Having gone into the closing rounds of the last two Championships with a chance of winning, it was felt that they were already on the brink of success and just needed a little bit extra to get themselves over the line.
Last November’s Autumn Nations Series represented another step in the right direction for Fabien Galthié’s men as they recorded consecutive wins over Argentina, Georgia and - most impressively - New Zealand.
An opening day triumph against Italy in the current edition of the Six Nations was to be expected, but they sent out a statement of intent to the best betting sites for rugby union by building up a 22-7 lead over Ireland when they visited Stade de France in mid-February.
Following a convincing opening round win over Italy, France held off a spirited second half display from Ireland at Stade de France on February 13 to triumph on a scoreline of 30-24 and that saw them become firm favourites for the Six Nations.
They delivered arguably their best performance to date at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh last time out when they gained revenge for last year's reversal to Scotland by defeating them with 19 points to spare (36-17).
Even though their opponents came storming back into contention, Les Bleus held firm and showed that they had considerable grit to go with their undoubted flair.
A six-try haul in their 36-17 victory at the expense of Scotland on February 26 - who France had lost out to on home soil in last year’s Championship - suggested that a clean sweep of honours was inevitable, but Wales subsequently put them to the pin of their collar at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last Friday.
888sport are presenting odds of 3/10 on France bridging a 12-year gap to their last Six Nations win.
Welsh Game Presented Les Bleus With A Tough Challenge
After averaging just over 34 points in their opening three games, France only managed 13 against the Welsh.
What is surprising is that 10 of these points - five from the boot of Melvyn Jaminet and an Anthony Jelonch try - were achieved inside the first 10 minutes of the contest.
Nevertheless, their whitewash remained unbreached for the first time in the Six Nations since February 2018 - an opening round encounter with Ireland that saw them being denied victory at the death by a Jonathan Sexton drop goal.
England are expected to provide a strong challenge on Saturday evening, but with France showing good aptitude on both sides of the ball, UK bookmakers out there are struggling to see past their candidacy.
Ireland Looking To Turn Up The Heat On The French
Yet a defeat of any kind for Les Bleus would open the door for Ireland - provided they can overcome the challenge of Scotland in the earlier kick-off of 4.45pm on Saturday.
Either side of their six-point reversal to France, Andy Farrell’s Irish enjoyed convincing bonus point victories against Wales and Italy.
The Green Army benefited from an early sending off in the latter game - the Azzurri were forced to play with 13 players due to a much-discussed World Rugby law - and the second-minute dismissal of England lock Charlie Ewels left them with a man advantage for virtually the entire contest in Twickenham Stadium last Saturday.
Ireland didn’t have it all their own way with Eddie Jones’ spirited English side restoring parity on the hour mark.
Their numerical deficiency took its toll in the end, however, with converted tries from Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham helping the Irish towards an eventual 32-15 win.
While a Triple Crown is up for grabs against Scotland on Saturday, a win of any kind will put them at the summit of the table in advance of the France and England test.
Although it hasn’t always been plain sailing, Ireland’s recent history with Scotland is positive - that’s why they are 1/7 favourites for the game with William Hill - and they will be determined to do all they can to win the Championship.
Ireland Still Viewed As An Outside Bet
Nevertheless, Ireland are understandably regarded as a distant second to France in the race for the Six Nations.
As unlikely as it seems, there has been high drama on the final day of the Six Nations Championship in the past, and it could well prove to be yet another exciting conclusion to an already intriguing campaign.
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