Ireland vs New Zealand Betting Tips, Best Odds and Analysis

Ireland vs New Zealand Betting Tips, Best Odds and Analysis

Quick Tips:


New Zealand’s one-point victory over England last weekend was merely the warm-up act. This Saturday in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is the mouthwatering main event: Ireland versus the All Blacks.

It’s world No.2 versus No.1, the Six Nations grand slam champions versus the World Cup holders and the bookies’ favourites to contest next year’s World Cup final in Japan.

For Ireland, the form team in world rugby, it’s as close to a 50/50 match as you’ll ever get against the three-time World Champions. Fans, pundits, players and coaches alike can’t wait.

“It’s one and two so whoever wins it will be the best side in the world regardless of rankings,” said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, earlier this week.

“You don’t get to play one and two that often when they’re in separate hemispheres so when they do come about they become pretty big games. There’s a fierce rivalry there.”

The History

History has not been kind to Ireland. Over 30 matches the men in green have won just once, drawn once and tasted defeat 28 times.

But the past three meetings between these two heavyweights have all been humdingers. In 2013 the All Blacks pulled off an improbable comeback by finishing a length-of-the-field try and sideline conversion – on the second attempt – to win 22-24.

Three years later Ireland claimed a precious 40-29 win on neutral soil in Soldier Field, Chicago, breaking their duck of beating the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years. Two weeks later New Zealand inflicted a viscous and controversial 21-9 “blacklash” in Dublin to restore their dominance.

For Ireland’s Kiwi-born coach Joe Schmidt, that 2013 defeat still stings. “I’m still bleeding from that. It hurts when that happens,” admitted Schmidt this week.

“Chicago was a great band aid, but two weeks later we were very, very much in the game, and it was very tough, very, very tough. The challenge for our guys [this week] is to step up. I’m confident they can. But at the same time I’m well aware of the challenges the All Blacks present.”

Although the aggregate score in their past two encounters is 49-50 to the All Blacks, the margins of victory have been 12 for New Zealand and 11 for Ireland.

As such, it’s worth looking at New Zealand by 6-10, priced at 5/1 by Ladbrokes and Coral, or the same bet for Ireland, which comes in at a tempting 9/1 with Black Type.

The Teams

As expected, Ireland make four changes from the side that overcame Argentina 28-17. Fullback Rob Kearney, centre Garry Ringrose and forwards Dan Leavy and Devin Toner return, adding welcome experience to their slightly injury-hit squad.

By contrast, the visitors have made just one change, with Ryan Crotty, who impressed off the bench last week, replacing the injured Sonny Bill Williams in midfield.

Ireland’s notable absentees include Sean O’Brien, Robbie Henshaw and especially scrum half Conor Murray, who was central to Ireland’s and the British and Irish Lions’ recent victories over the All Blacks. Deputising for him is Kieran Marmion, who’s held off fierce competition from Luke McGrath to take the No.9 jersey.

His opposite man, Aaron Smith, will be winning his 82nd cap to become the most capped All Black half-back in history. If you think that could inspire him to crown the occasion with the first try, he’s placed at a juicy 22/1 with BetVictor.

The battle of the two half-backs and their respective fly-halves will undoubtedly be crucial with Ireland’s chief playmaker Johnny Sexton facing off with World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett.

Both will prioritise keeping their sides in front on the scoreboard, so expect the drop-goal at anytime, priced at 9/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power, to be a good option.

The Odds

Due to the Irish injuries, the bookies have the All Blacks as clear favourites, with Betfair offering the best value at 2/5.

Betway have an Irish win at 23/10 while the unlikely draw is best placed at 30/1 with Betfair. A narrow Irish win by 1-5 points is better value at 15/4 with Black Type.

With both teams in such hot form and weather conditions expected to be dry and mild, the match is almost too close to call. Therefore, betting on the margin of victory, number of tries scored, half-time/full-time result or first try scorer is a better place to look for value.

The All Blacks are notoriously slow starters and fast finishers, meaning an Ireland lead at half-time and New Zealand win at full-time is smart money.

Ireland/New Zealand is 6/1 with BetVictor while Irish wing Jacob Stockdale, who’s plundered 11 tries in just 13 matches, is well priced at 14/1 for first tryscorer.

Alternatively you could look to the forwards to draw first blood. Against England, New Zealand showed they were vulnerable to a well-executed rolling maul from a lineout and no team is better at that than the men in green.

If they go the same route, hooker Rory Best will most likely profit with the score and is available at a long 35/1 for first tryscorer or 7/1 to score at anytime, both with Betfair.

Meanwhile, World Player of the Year nominee Sexton, always a man for the biggest of occasions, is priced at 9/1 to score a try anytime with Betfair.

Whatever the outcome, it’s sure to be a blockbuster occasion between these exceptional teams, with all eyes fixed firmly on the Aviva Stadium. Enjoy the show.

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