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Six Nations round 5 tipping: Where to find value in final round of fixtures

15 Mar | BY Tom Clee | MIN READ TIME |
Six Nations round 5 tipping: Where to find value in final round of fixtures

After a strong showing last week, the Machine is bowing out in style with a bold prediction for the tournament finale...

It was another good week for the Machine last time out.

Not only did it correctly predict bonus-point wins for both England and France, but it even calculated Les Bleus’ exact winning margin and the number of tries that they would score.

So it’s definitely worth taking note of how it sees the tournament finale panning out on Saturday…

Scotland v Italy (Saturday, 12:30)

Scotland have made considerable progress during this tournament, though that improvement has not been reflected in the table.

Vern Cotter’s side are second-bottom going into the final round of fixtures, though they do still have a chance of finishing second.

Yet while the Machine is backing Scotland to record three victories in a single Six Nations for the first time since 2006, it does not envisage them getting the bonus point they would surely need to leapfrog both Wales and France.

Instead, it sees Scotland prevailing by seven points – with a win by 6-10 priced at {ODDS:143987113:10/1} and the wider bracket of 1-12 at {ODDS:143987107:7/2}.

While that margin might seem slightly narrow, it is worth remembering that Italy were victorious on their last visit to Murrayfield and will not face the same physicality that proved their undoing against both Ireland and France.

Scotland have only averaged two tries in Six Nations games at home to Italy and are {ODDS:144765247:7/1} to continue that trend, while Italy – who touched down twice against both England and France  – are {ODDS:144765255:9/4} to score the same number on a ground where they were victorious on their last visit.

France v Wales (Saturday, 14:45)

Having each won four of their eight Six Nations meetings in Paris to date, this game between France and Wales is perhaps the toughest to call of the entire tournament.

Both teams salvaged some pride from generally disappointing campaigns last time out, with France securing a bonus-point win in Rome and Wales overcoming Ireland in Cardiff.

But, rousing performance aside, the Welsh were let off the hook on numerous occasions by an Irish team incapable of taking their opportunities whose discipline also let them down at crucial times.

The bruising nature of that encounter could also take its toll this weekend when confronting a monstrous French team capable of outmuscling any side in world rugby.

Travelling to Paris – where France have already beaten Scotland – the visitors are tipped to lose narrowly by four points, with a home win by 1-5 is priced at {ODDS:143987056:9/2} and 1-12 at {ODDS:143987051:6/4}.

Both teams, meanwhile, are tipped to score two tries in their bid to finish second with France {ODDS:144756830:3/1} to do so and Wales {ODDS:144756837:11/4}.

Ireland v England (Saturday, 17:00)

In the words of their coach Eddie Jones, England have the chance to “achieve greatness” on Saturday.

Should they beat Ireland, then they will become the first team to claim back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era as well as the first Tier 1 nation to ever win 19 consecutive matches.

The Machine, though, does not fancy their chances.

Ireland may have little to play for – other than to try and ensure they don’t equal their worst-ever finish of fifth – but that won’t dampen their determination to end England’s long winning run just like they did to New Zealand in the autumn.

In all, England have lost on four of the six occasions they had a Grand Slam up for grabs in the final game, including once in Dublin in 2011.

This time, the Machine is predicting them to be edged out by just three points, with an Ireland win by 1-5 priced at {ODDS:143987084:5/1} and a less specific 1-12 available at {ODDS:143987079:11/5}.

Both teams, meanwhile, are tipped score just the once – with England {ODDS:144752415:5/2} and Ireland {ODDS:144752410:2/1} to do so – in a cagey affair.

England have achieved much under Jones, but whether they can replicate what Clive Woodward’s greats did in 2003 – and prove the Machine wrong once and for all in the process – remains to be seen.

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Tom Clee

Global content manager who covered football in Europe and South America before winning the Conference with Barnet FC.

Tom Clee

Global content manager who covered football in Europe and South America before winning the Conference with Barnet FC.