2017 Predictions

Date published: January 3 2017

Trusted online betting sites are gearing up for an exciting year in the world of rugby and the biggest event on the horizon is the Six Nations.

This famed tournament sees England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy compete for supremacy, and this year’s tournament carries extra intrigue as England could break New Zealand’s world record of 18 wins in a row if they are victorious in all of their games.

Last year was a remarkable one for the England team, who won all five Six Nations games to complete the Grand Slam and are now on a 14-game winning streak. They begin their defence of the Six Nations at home to France on February 4 and the best odds you can get on an England win are a measly 1/5 with Sky Bet, an indication of England’s total supremacy at present. In 2016 they beat France 31-21 and will be confident of another comfortable victory here. By the time the Six Nations is out, they could have extended their winning run to 19, which would break New Zealand’s world record and cement coach Eddie Jones’ legendary reputation.

Online betting sites are competing to offer the best odds on the Six Nations and at present Bet Stars is leading the way by offering 5/6 (1.83) on an England win. It is amazing to see a team odds-on to win such a prestigious competition, but it is testament to the momentum England have. Dylan Hartley is a great leader, Billy Vunipola has been excellent and Ben Youngs has been playing out of his skin. Jones insists they are still yet to reach their potential, which is terrifying for their opponents, and that 1.83 on them winning the Six Nations actually looks like a great bet now.

But to get more value you could be bold and back England to win the Grand Slam, which requires them to win all five games. They pulled it off with ease last year and Jones says they are improving, so it is no great stretch to think they could repeat the feat in 2017. For this the odds shoot out and you can get 5/2 (3.50) with Bet Victor on England winning the Six Nations.

England should not have much trouble beating France, and next up is Wales, who came the closest to beating them last year. England triumphed 25-21 at Twickenham, and the Welsh would love to gain revenge, but it will be a tall order for a team that lost 32-8 to Australia in November. If England can get through that they have two relatively easy games against Italy and Scotland, and the crunch game would come against Ireland.

Ireland are one of the best teams in the world right now and it is they who put an end to New Zealand’s 18-match winning streak by beating them in Chicago. It promises to be an enthralling clash, but we will be bold and our 2016 prediction is that England will win a second consecutive Grand Slam and break the world record for the most consecutive wins recorded. They are a mentally strong team with a great coach, and the 3.50 on offer is a great price.

Ireland are likely to win at least three games and maybe four and are worth backing in individual matches, while you would expect Wales to get the better of France, Italy and Scotland. Italy are likely to be the whipping boys of the tournament and finish winless and last. Scotland have a chance against France but will struggle to beat England, Ireland or Wales, so the projected final ranking is thus: England, Ireland, Wales, France, Scotland, Italy.