This is part betting strategy, part parlour game.
It can be illuminating to play bookmaker and price up an event yourself. Compare the spread you come up with against that of the betting firm and it might help you locate where the value lies (at least in your eyes).
I tried to do this (without peeking, I promise) for this weekend’s round of Six Nations fixtures.
Worth-a-spin Spreads Ltd
Ireland vs Italy (Saturday, 13.30)
Ireland are at home, played only the one fixture where they ran Wales very close. Italy looked strong against England, but does this mean they’ve played their ‘cup final’ and are there for the taking? In Six Nations history Ireland have always beaten Italy, and by an average margin of 18.5 points. However, we know Italy are certainly competitive this time out.
Worth-a-Spin goes Ireland/Italy 10-13
England vs Wales (Saturday, 16.00)
An incredibly tough one to call. I don’t think history or stats will have too much influence on this one – we’re dealing with a new-look England side and this is effectively a ‘title eliminator’. Wales are surely the stronger team and pose a more potent scoring threat, but it would be foolish to overlook England’s home advantage. I might be tempted to make England the most marginal of favourites.
Worth-a-Spin goes England/Wales -1 – 2
Scotland vs France (Sunday, 15.00)
France have had the gap in their schedule after the postponement of their game against Ireland. I’ll imagine les bleus will be desperate to keep pace with the competition. Scotland were dogged against England in the opening fixture, but their ability to score is still very much in question. France have played the single game but had no problems dispatching Italy and scoring 30 points in the process and history tells us that, away from Paris, France score 2.5 tries per game in the Six Nations.
Worth-a-Spin goes France/Scotland 14-17
Now let’s have a look at the Sporting Index spreads (correct at time of publication):
I’m under the spread on Ireland/Italy and might think about selling, whereas I have a higher opinion of France than the SpIn market maker, perhaps a buy at 9 is in order here then.
As far as England vs Wales goes…I think it’s best left alone and enjoyed as a spectacle of rugby instead!