Wales vs Ireland Betting: 2019 Six Nations Odds & Analysis

Wales vs Ireland Betting: 2019 Six Nations Odds & Analysis
It’s the final day decider. Wales’ vice-like watertight defense versus World Rugby’s team of the year, Ireland. We make a betting case for both teams.

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It’s the final day decider. Wales’ vice-like watertight defense versus World Rugby’s team of the year.

Ireland will have to discover their All Blacks-beating pre-tournament form to ruin the Welsh party but Wales have all the momentum.

Here, we make a case for each side to claim the victory – and pick out the best bets to back along the way.

Wales Win (-148 with 888Sport)

History beckons for Wales. Since the tournament became the Six Nations 19 years ago, Wales has won its opening four games three times. Wales went on to complete the Grand Slam on each occasion (2005, 2008 and 2012).

If that’s not ominous enough for the visitors – and England, who are lurking in the background to claim the championship (+125 with 888Sport) if Wales slip up – it’s also head coach Warren Gatland’s final season at the helm.

He has masterminded two Grand Slams before – a hat trick of clean sweeps is priced at -137 with 888Sport.

Under the all-knowing Kiwi, Wales have amassed a record-breaking 13 consecutive wins and turned the Principality Stadium into a fortress. According to Gatland, Wales have “forgotten how to lose”. As far as amnesia goes, it’s a useful ailment to pick up with a World Cup on the horizon later this year.

Wales also appears to have luck on its side and can field an unchanged lineup from the one that beat Scotland in Murrayfield last week. Liam Williams (+1400 for first tryscorer) has shaken off an injury scare to start at fullback.

On the wing, Josh Adams will be looking to make it four tries in his last four starts. He’s at +175 with 888Sport to score anytime while his fellow tryscorer last week, British and Irish Lions center Jonathan Davies who always steps up for the big occasions, is +275 with 888Sport to do likewise.

Even the weather forecast is clear and calm – even if the Welsh home support will be anything but.

Gatland’s game plan will be relatively simple: slam the door shut in Ireland’s face, keep their discipline, feed Adams and bring on streetwise Dan Biggar early to steady the ship and seal the win.

Ireland Win (+117 with SugarHouse)

Wales might have forgotten how to lose – but Ireland are more than capable of reminding them. Wales’ last home loss came 16 months ago against the All Blacks. But their most recent loss came just over a year ago to – you guessed it – Ireland.

Under head coach Joe Schmidt, the men in green might not have beaten Wales in Cardiff in the Six Nations, but they did in a 2015 World Cup warm-up match, 35-21. What was crucial that day was splintering Wales’ renowned defense and scoring tries, five in total.

This championship Wales’ renowned defense is back to its best. Wales has conceded just six tries whereas Ireland have allowed nine. What does that mean? Kicking from penalties and drop goals will be crucial.

Ireland’s halfbacks Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray will need to be back to their sky high peak to crack Wales open and find a way to the try line.

If they do, expect Jacob Stockdale (+150 with SugarHouse) with nine tries in nine Six Nations matches, rather than Sexton (+550), who scored his first try in 30 last week, to be the man to do it.

Ireland have scored 13 tries so far but on Saturday defense will win the day and the visitors might not need five-pointers to claim what would be a famous victory.

Wales have scored just six tries, the fewest, in the tournament. If the Irish can keep the Welsh at bay and take their penalties, Ireland could come away with a famous win in what’s bound to be a tight slugfest of an encounter.

Verdict: Back Ireland HT/Wales FT (+650 with SugarHouse)

Momentum, form and the tantalizing motivation of a career-defining Grand Slam are all in Wales’ favor which is why I predict the Welsh to be too hard a nut for an inconsistent Ireland to crack.

That doesn’t mean the home team will have it all its way. They’ve been slow starters so far – with the two tries they scored against Scotland their only first half tries of the tournament.

For that reason it’s worth backing Ireland to lead at halftime, with a fired-up, Biggar-led fightback in front of the baying Principality Stadium crowd to clinch it at the death. Sounds good? That’s at +650 with SugarHouse.

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