When in Rome

Italy vs England – Saturday 11th February

It’s a sporting platitude as worn out as the notion of there being no easy games in the Premier League that Italy are a tough side to play against. Both, in my opinion, are wrong; the Premier League is overflowing with mediocrity and Italy’s egg-chasers are the Six Nations’ soft touch.

Will Robshaw captain England to victory again?

The statistics don’t lie: Italy have lost all 17 of their fixtures against England with an average margin of defeat in excess of 29 points. SpIn go 7-10 England over Italy for Saturday’s clash and I think it could be worth going long here. Admittedly, the last two clashes in Rome have been close-fought encounters (12-17 and 19-23 in 2010 and 2008 respectively) but I expect, having held their nerve last week at Murrayfield, Lancaster’s men will stamp their authority on the tournament and brush aside the Azzurri.

This tip is, perhaps, against my better judgment; normally I’d advise against buying England on the spreads – they always suffer from a 2-3 point inflation, but I reckon there’s value here. Of course, you could well end up doing a ‘Brian Moore’ come 5pm Saturday.

France vs Ireland – Saturday 11th February

After last week’s disappointment against the Welsh, Ireland will be looking to bounce back swiftly. However, unfortunately for Kidney and co, it’s a sporting cliché very much supported by hard evidence that it’s tough to take anything but bruises away from the Stade de France.

France looked good last time out against a physical Italian defence and I could be tempted to have a sniff at buying their tries at 2.9

Wales vs Scotland – Sunday 12th February

Wales look to be fully priced at 12-15 over Scotland, indeed, there might be room for a sell here. SpIn go 1.1-1.4 on Scotland tries. With the Scots avoiding the try-line like their countrymen do fresh fruit, I’d be selling big even if the spread were 0.1-0.4.

Overall

Keep selling kicking metres. Make-ups were short last week and the markets are still overpriced in my opinion.

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