Six Nations Betting: What Are The Odds Of A Grand Slam In 2022?
They are expected to encounter some stern resistance when they face England in the final round of this year’s Six Nations Championship on Saturday, but France are now just one game away from achieving Grand Slam glory.
With four consecutive wins already in the bank, the best betting sites believe Les Bleus are now capable of taking the next big step in their evolution by sweeping the boards in this year’s competition.
France’s Grand Slam Hopes Have Grown In Recent Weeks
Whereas many UK bookmakers favoured the prospect of there being no Grand Slam winner for 2022 in the opening two rounds of the Championship, there was a major shift following France's 36-17 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on February 26.
Having ruthlessly put Gregor Townsend’s side to the sword with six tries, it was felt France were now destined to claim the Championship’s biggest prize for the first time in 12 years.
The French were put to the pin of their collar by Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last Friday evening, but still came through on the right side of the result.
A 47th-minute penalty from Melvyn Jaminet was the final score of the game as Fabien Galthié’s men held out to record a 13-9 triumph over the 2021 champions.
They showed in this game - and their second round victory against Ireland - that this French team are now capable of coming out on top of tight encounters and will be primed for the visit of England to Saint-Denis for a 9pm kick-off local time.
A French Grand Slam The Favoured Option
Currently ranked number three in the world rankings behind South Africa and New Zealand, France can rightly claim to be the form international side in Europe at the moment.
The best betting sites for rugby union certainly agree that they can be top dogs in the Six Nations at least and there is belief that they will remain on their current winning run after the dust settles on Saturday’s action.
At the moment, William Hill are offering odds of 4/5 on the French completing the Grand Slam - which would be only their fourth in the era of the Six Nations.
The frequency of bets for this outcome are much higher than what is on offer for No Grand Slam winner, with punters not entirely convinced that England can pull off their third win of the competition.
England Playing For Pride On Saturday
This will be the third year in succession that France have entered the final round of the Six Nations with a shot at Championship glory, but there is far less at stake for their opponents. After pipping France to top honours in 2020, England ended last year’s competition with three defeats and just two wins to their name.
Unless they can get one over on the French in their own backyard, they will finish 2022 with the same record. Pride is at stake for Eddie Jones’ outfit, but based on their gallant display against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium last weekend, fighting for the jersey won’t be an issue in the Parisienne suburb.
Just 82 seconds were gone on the clock when English second-row Charlie Ewels was red carded for connecting with the head of opposite number James Ryan, who was subsequently withdrawn for the remainder of the game.
Tom Curry and Kyle Sinckler were also lost to injury before the opening period had drawn to a conclusion, but the hosts rallied and were on level terms with their neighbours (15-15) by the hour mark.
Ireland eventually utilised their numerical advantage to amass 17 unanswered points - a Jonathan Sexton penalty was supplemented by converted tries from Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham - but it was generally felt that England performed well under extremely testing circumstances.
Their scrum in particular was dominant, despite winger Jack Nowell having to step into the back-row at set-piece time, and they will look to use it as a springboard against the French.
An Attritional Contest Could Be In Store
While there will be some explosive backs on display at Stade de France - Antoine Dupont and Marcus Smith just to name two - both sides are incredibly powerful, and the physical exchanges will therefore be a pivotal component of the contest.
Eddie Jones would love nothing better than to spoil a Six Nations party, but France have largely handled the tag of favourites quite well and they are 1/3 frontrunners with Coral to win Saturday night’s contest.
Meanwhile, England can be backed at 28/1 with bet365.
They have been the only team capable of completing a Grand Slam since the end of round two and while the Welsh game asked serious questions of their resolve, Galthié’s troops prevailed in spite of not being at their best.
Could Well Be A Third Successive Year Without A Slam Winner
Still, there hasn’t been a Slam champion since 2019 and the prospect of this not happening again has to be given serious consideration.
Indeed, the gap between both options amongst the 2022 Six Nations betting odds is proving to be quite small.
For example, William Hill and Unibet are offering odds of Evens on France falling short in their Slam quest.
But, Paddy Power have stretched things out slightly further to a tidy 2/1 price.
Whatever happens, it should be a compelling contest that will - based on the recent meetings between the two nations - still be in the melting pot heading towards the closing stages of the action.
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