Eddie Jones stoked the fires of the upcoming Six Nations tournament by suggesting that Ireland are the ‘favourites’ and that they will ‘Have to cope with the expectation that goes with that tag’. Whilst the bookies disagree with the England coach, punters certainly agree, with the Boys in Green seeing more bets placed on them to win the championship than any other side.
Ireland have not won the Six Nations since 2015 and have gone nine years without a Grand Slam but hopes are high that they can go toe to toe with England – Their match in Twickenham on March 17 could well be a title decider. The bookies believe that these two will duke it out for the big one – England are currently 11/10 to top the table, Ireland are 15/8.
However, 30% of bets placed have gone on Ireland and the Red Roses aren’t even the second best backed team. That honour goes to Scotland, so often the underdogs but can be classed as real dark horses this time around. Without a Six Nations Championship to their name (they won the last ever 5 Nations title in 1999), Gregor Townsend’s team host England but have to go to the Aviva Stadium in Week 4, which could be defining. The Scots are currently 11/1 to end their 19-year hoodoo, with 24% of people backing them.
They may not have much support in the Championship race, but for Wales it is a different story in the Grand Slam market. The Dragons are without a slam in six years and are a huge 66/1 to win all five games, but 27% of people have gone for what would be a stunning result, with the team looking to be currently in transition. They were also the selection for the single biggest stake placed in this market, with one particularly patriotic punter in the Cardiff area placing a three-figure stake!
Oddschecker Spokesman George Elek: “It looks like a two-horse race in this year’s Six Nations and with Ireland having the number of England last year, hopes are high that Joe Schmidt’s side can secure their first title in three years. We see a lot of patriotic betting in this tournament and with Scotland being the second-best backed side and Wales getting staked for the Grand Slam, it seems that there’s four nations that all have genuine belief.”