Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ireland vs Scotland predictions: Six Nations tips, rugby odds and best bets

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Ireland vs Scotland predictions

The dream of back-to-back grand slams may have gone up in a puff of white smoke at Twickenham last week but Ireland still have a job to do when facing Scotland on Saturday afternoon (4.45pm, ITV1). 

Ireland just need to avoid a surprise loss at the Aviva Stadium to become the first team since England in 2017 to retain the Six Nations title. 

A defeat would open the door to England, France and Scotland to claim the championship, although all three members of the chasing pack are huge long shots in the Six Nations odds, needing miracles of various sizes to overhaul Andy Farrell’s men.

Winning the title may feel like an anti-climax having been set on becoming the first team in the Six Nations era to complete consecutive slams, but Ireland can’t afford to wallow with an angry Scotland side heading their way. 

The Scots saw their title aspirations effectively ended by a surprise defeat in Italy in round four and they have something to prove in Dublin. 

Scotland could also clinch the Triple Crown for the first time since 1990 with a win over Ireland, who have been Gregor Townsend’s white whale during his time as coach.

Toppling Ireland at home will take a monumental effort from the Scots and it seems logical to side with a motivated Irish team intent on proving themselves when assessing this clash on rugby betting sites.

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Ireland out to make amends 

Ireland have won the last nine meetings with Scotland, most recently toppling them 36-14 at last autumn’s Rugby World Cup

That scoreline was only respectable after a couple of late Scotland tries with Ireland vastly superior to a team that may not have the tools to beat the champions-elect.

England showed how to knock Ireland out of their stride with a physical, fast-paced game plan that didn’t allow Farrell’s men to settle into their rhythm at any point.

In the past, Scotland haven’t had the grunt to stop a powerful Ireland attack or punch holes through their line when in possession, and there’s little to suggest that will change on Saturday. 

Neither side will lack for motivation for this game though and both should have a bee in their bonnet after round four’s results. Had Scotland won in Rome, this would have been a title showdown, but instead only have the Triple Crown to play for.

Farrell has named an unchanged side from the team that lost to England, giving his charges a chance to redeem themselves, which is exactly what gambling sites expect. 

Ireland are favoured by 15 points on the majority of betting apps as they go in search of a record-extending 18th consecutive win at the Aviva Stadium and a 39th success in the last 41 Tests staged in Dublin. 

They last lost back-to-back Tests in the 2021 Six Nations and it’s difficult to see them losing to a Scotland team that’s beaten them just six times in 31 attempts since the turn of the millennium.

Ireland have been handicap winners in six of the last eight home meetings with the Scots and the margin of victory tends to be in the mid-teens to low 20s when the men in green do win this fixture.

But there are a few minor concerns surrounding Ireland which call into question whether then can cover the handicap. The first is a tendency to play a bit tight in the title-deciding games and the other is their discipline with Ireland on their way to breaking their record penalty count for a Six Nations.

Rather than take them on the handicap, an Ireland win by 11 to 20 points is an interesting alternative at 12/5 with bet365.

Ireland vs Scotland Tip 1: Ireland to win by 11 to 20 points – 12/5 with bet365

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Scots attack tough to trust

Finding a way through Ireland’s stout defence has been a real puzzle for the majority of sides with England only the second team since the summer of 2022 to score over 20 points against Farrell’s men.

Scotland have had major issues opening up Ireland in the past, resulting in them scoring single figures in each of the last two Six Nations meetings.

In last year’s encounter at Murrayfield, they dominated the first-half but scored just seven points, while in last October’s World Cup encounter they had only one fewer carry and beat 16 more defenders than Ireland and yet still only ended up with 14 points, all of which came when the game was over as a contest.

Ireland’s defence has arguably improved since the World Cup too, conceding the fewest points per entry into their 22 in the Six Nations.

Throw in a worrying trend that shows Scotland struggling to put points on the board after 50 minutes in games in this championship and it’s tough to imagine them scoring 17 or more points for just the second time in the last 10 games against Ireland.

Ireland vs Scotland Tip 2: Under 16.5 Scotland points – Evens with QuinnBet

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Top try-scorer contender to strike

The Six Nations title, Triple Crown and the tournament’s top scorer could all be decided at the Aviva Stadium with Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe currently leading the try-scoring standings on five.

One try behind are Ireland’s James Lowe and Dan Sheehan and betting sites are confident the pair can add to their tally, particularly with so many of Ireland’s tries starting from a lineout.

That should give Sheehan an opportunity to cross, but Lowe may be the superior betting prospect as he bids to score for the third game in a row against Scotland.

Lowe has had a superb championship and ranks number one for metres carried and 10th for carries overall.

Irish wingers have enjoyed plenty of success against Scotland in the recent past and there’s a temptation to back Lowe at 9/2 to score more than once. 

But we’ll play it safe for our final Ireland vs Scotland prediction by taking Lowe to score at any time.

Ireland vs Scotland Tip 3: James Lowe any time try-scorer – Evens with BetMGM

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Get free bets for the Six Nations

The 2024 Six Nations is set for an exciting conclusion on Super Saturday and for those looking to have a bet on any of the games, it’s worth checking to see if you are eligible for any free bet offers first.

William Hill have a great range of rugby markets and they are offering £30 in free bets to new customers that open an account and deposit a minimum of £10.

Customers will then need to place a wager of £10 or more on a sportsbook selection with odds or 1/2 (1.5) or greater. Once the qualifying bet has settled, bettors will receive their free bet tokens.

William Hill also have several options for online casino UK users with a live casino, a games site featuring some of the best online slots and much more.

Before signing up with William Hill or any new betting sites, check the terms and conditions of the welcome offer first. If you do have a bet this weekend, please gamble responsibly.

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