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Two Fixtures In, Unbeaten France and Ireland Still Trail England in Six Nations Championship Odds

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Rugby

Feb 11, 2020 · 2:20 PM PST

France and Ireland stand at attention for the national anthems
Even though France and Ireland are both unbeaten, England remain the favorite to win the 2020 Six Nations rugby title at average odds of +165. Photo by Cangadoba [Creative Commons].
  • Ireland and France are both 2-0 at the 2020 Six Nations Rugby Championship
  • Yet England (1-1) is still the +165 favorite to win the title
  • See the updated odds for all six teams plus betting advice on the championship futures

Both France and Ireland are perfect through two rounds of the 2020 Six Nations rugby championship. However, the oddsmakers still side with England.

The 2-0 French and Irish are the only unbeaten sides in the tournament. England (1-1) fell to France 24-17 on the opening weekend.

Despite this reality, oddsmakers have stayed on board with the English. On average across the leading sportsbooks, England were the -129 favorites in the 2020 Six Nations odds pre-tournament.

Two matches into the event, England remain the chalk, but have fallen to +165 on average and as long as +175.

2020 Six Nations Rugby Odds

Country Odds
England +175
France +200
Ireland +225
Wales +1000
Scotland +15000
Italy +100000

Odds taken Feb. 11th.

Ireland averages out to the second-favorite at +221, just a touch better than France at +225.

France Winning But Unimpressive

Opening with a 24-17 verdict over England was the start France sought to the tournament. However, following up with an underwhelming 35-22 home decision over Italy wasn’t. Wales crushed the Italians 42-0 in opening-week action.

The French weren’t as sharp defensively against the Italians as they were when facing the English. Was this merely a letdown following an emotional triumph over England? As well, both of France’s wins have come on home soil.

France’s mettle will be tested in the next two rounds. Saturday, the French go to Wales. The Welsh have won three in a row and eight of nine from France. The French haven’t tasted victory at Cardiff in a decade, and that’s their only win in Wales since 2007. France is currently a 5.5 point underdog and +188 on the moneyline.

France must also play at Scotland before closing at home against Ireland. Les Bleus have lost three straight at Murrayfield.

Adding to the steep incline of the pitch ahead, the French lost wing Vincent Rattez for the remainder of the tournament due to a fractured fibula. He scored a try in the victory over England.

Ireland Bounces Back

A disappointing World Cup saw Ireland lose in the group stage to Japan and suffer a lopsided drubbing at hands of New Zealand in the quarterfinals. But the Irish are off to a solid start in the Six Nations.

Like the French, though, they’ve taken advantage of a pair of home matches to open 2-0. Ireland scraped past Scotland 19-12 and outlasted Wales 24-14 in Dublin.

Sunday, the screws will tighten when Ireland travel to England. Ireland lost 57-15 at Twickenham in a RWC tuneup match last August.

The Irish get the free spot of Italy at home before traveling to France to close out the Six Nations. So, as is the case in every Six Nations tournament, one team at most will end up with a perfect record.

In the event two teams are tied at the top of the table after five matches, point differential is the first tiebreaker. Currently Wales leads at +32, followed by France (+20), Ireland (+17), England (0), Scotland (-14), and Italy (-55).

England A Valid Favorite

Three of the last four Six Nations champions posted perfect 5-0 records, which doesn’t bode well for England. On the other hand, the lone country to win the title in that span was England, which went 4-1 in 2017.

The English played a horrible first half in Paris and fell behind 17-0. It was the first time since 1988 that England were held scoreless in the first half of a Six Nations match.

They turned it on in the second half but couldn’t come all the way back. In their second match in miserable, wet conditions at Murrayfield, England ground out a 13-6 triumph. The English played a disciplined game and capitalized on 11 knock-ons and 14 handling errors by the Scots.

England get Ireland and Wales at Twickenham before finishing at Italy. The RWC finalists are still in the Six Nations driver’s seat.

Pick: England (+175)

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