Six Nations betting preview: England v France

Martin Green

Thursday, February 7, 2019 5:52 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 5:52 PM UTC

England are the new favourites to win the Six Nations and they can take another big stride towards the crown with victory over France at Twickenham on Sunday.

<p>England have been installed as the odds-on favourites to win the Six Nations after their thumping triumph in Dublin at the weekend. The Irish were heavily fancied to lift the trophy once more after embarking on a superb run of form that saw them vanquish world champions New Zealand. But England defied their underdog status with a rousing performance defined by outstanding defending, precise kicking precise and opportunism in attack. They are now expected to sweep France aside on Sunday and romp to the title, which would be a massive shot in the arm ahead of this summer’s World Cup.</p><p>England were distant second favourites before the tournament began, but they have gone in to a best price of 8/11 with <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank">William Hill</a> and Bet Victor after that result. It was probably the finest victory of the Eddie Jones era, and they should be met with reverence from here on out. Ireland have gone all the way out to 15/2 with Betfair to win the Six Nations after that bruising defeat. They seized the Grand Slam last year, but they will now struggle to overhaul the English.</p><p>Wales are very much in the mix too after pulling off a superb comeback victory over France in Paris. Coach Warren Gatland declared before the game that, if they triumphed, the Welsh would go on to win the tournament. They made a poor start and trailed by 16 points, but a stirring second half comeback saw them clinch a 24-19 win. Wales are now second favourites at 3/1 with <a href=";a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c" target="_blank">Betway</a> and Betfair, and that might interest some punters, as they have the luxury of facing both England and Ireland at home in Cardiff.</p><p>Yet England are very much in pole position after that famous win and they are expected to make short work of France this weekend. Les Bleus do not travel well, having lost their last five away games on the bounce. That run is unlikely to come to an end at Twickenham against a resurgent England. They may be without injured lock Maro Itoje, but they are closer to full strength than they have been for a while and Mako Vunipola in particular is in devastating form. Jones’ men are just 1/6 with bookmakers like Bet365 and William Hill to beat France, so handicaps are the way forward for value in this game.</p><p><a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank">Ladbrokes</a>, <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank">Paddy Power</a>, Betfair and a couple of others are offering even money on England -13 and that has proved to be a popular bet among punters. England have won their last two meetings with France, but they were both narrow victories, so you might consider a smaller handicap if you are feeling more cautious. Betfred has 8/11 on England -11.5, while the 8/11 on France +16 might also entice a few bettors with Ladbrokes and Coral.</p><p>Ireland will bid to get their campaign back on track at Murrayfield on Saturday. Scotland beat Italy comfortably in their opener, but they are unlikely to have much joy against an Ireland side that beat the 28-8 last year. Ireland -5 is 10/11 with Bet365 and that looks interesting as Joe Schmidt’s men will be desperate to bounce back with a positive result. The other game sees Wales travel to Rome to face Italy and they are just 1/12 to win it. You have to give them a -18 handicap for even money and that looks a bit steep. Italy +20 is 4/6 with Ladbrokes and Coral and that looks like a very tempting bet.</p>
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