Ireland vs Italy predictions
After Ireland’s superb display against France in the Six Nations’ opening game, rugby betting sites already believe that Andy Farrell’s team will be unstoppable in the tournament. It is still early days, but it is difficult to disagree with that view.
The best price available for Ireland to top the Six Nations table after Scotland visit them on 16 March in the final game of their campaign is a miserly 2/9 with BoyleSports. Other bookmakers make the Irish as short as 1/6.
To repeat last year’s Grand Slam, the best offer is 4/6 with SpreadEx. That is worth some consideration, with England, Wales and Scotland still to play Ireland.
The Italians are next on the agenda for Ireland, though, and it would be a monumental shock if they were to beat the Irish at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday. BetGoodwin makes Ireland 1/100 to win the match. Such long odds-on don’t scream value to us.
So, we’ll look elsewhere for our Ireland vs Italy predictions using the best Six Nations odds.
Ireland to break down Italy in second half
Italy are not the whipping boys of old. While still not a top-ranking side, they have improved constantly in international rugby and gave England a huge wake-up call in their opening match. The Azzurri played with ambition and some ingenuity in the first half.
New coach and former Argentina fly-half Gonzalo Quesada has the team working well together. They are still prone to poor decision-making, but the signs are that they are going to be an altogether better outfit than in years gone by.
This has not gone unnoticed by Farrell, and he has named another strong starting lineup that should prove as effective as the team that played against the French.
Jack Crowley, who filled the fly-half position instead of the retired Johnny Sexton, was outstanding in that role against France. Six Nations newcomer ‘Big’ Joe McCarthy was another critical team member and will be looking to build on that power-packed performance further.
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Ireland have any number of players capable of running in a try and will stretch the Italians wide at every opportunity. All the same, it is unlikely to be plain sailing for Ireland in the first half. The physicality of the Italian team could take some overcoming.
Italy may be capable of trading blows with the Irish in the first period. As limbs become battered and weary in the second half, the floodgates could open up for Ireland. They never eased up in France, and Italy will likely be found wanting as the clock runs down.
Therefore, the second-half handicap is of interest, and the 10/11 offered by William Hill, with the Irish giving up 18 points, could be a worthwhile bet.
Ireland vs Italy Tip 1: Second half handicap Ireland -18 points – 10/11 William Hill
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Nash to make early impact
With betting apps offering multiple markets on the match, there are other attractively priced possible outcomes.
Ireland ran in for five tries by different players against France, including a second-half strike by winger Calvin Nash, who was making his first starting appearance for Ireland. He can again play a significant role and get his name on the scoresheet.
He could find himself in plenty of good positions early in the game and can score his second try, or possibly more, in the 2024 Six Nations. He is too short for our liking in the any time market, but it is worth chancing that he can make the first try in the match.
The home side will look to stretch the Italy defence in the early stages. Nash has shown the clinical edge to take advantage, so the 7/1 offered by bet365 for the wing to score the first try is good value and enough for us to take for our second prediction.
Ireland vs Italy Tip 2: Calvin Nash to score the first try – 7/1 bet365
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Captain Doris on the mark
After making such a strong start to the campaign, Ireland will be looking to make another statement in Dublin. Peter O’Mahony has been ruled out of the contest, paving the way for Caelan Doris to take over the captaincy.
Doris will lead Ireland for the first time and he will be desperate to mark the occasion with a victory, and perhaps even more on a personal note.
With the expectation that Ireland can score a hatful of tries in the game, Doris could fit the bill, and the 7/4 offered by Betfred to score a try at any time is interesting enough.
Doris switches to openside flanker for the match and is no stranger to scoring tries for Ireland. He should have ample opportunities and time to do so in this match. He will take the captaincy role in his stride and be extra keen to add to his international points tally.
Ireland vs Italy Tip 3: Caelan Doris to score try any time – 7/4 Betfred
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How to get free bets for Six Nations
You can unlock free bets for wagering on the Six Nations by signing up for gambling sites online.
Parimatch are offering new customers 100/1 odds for England to win the Six Nations. All you have to do is click our link here and create an account before placing a minimum £5 deposit via debit card or Apple Pay.
Then a place a maximum £1 bet on England to win the Six Nations in the outright winner market. If England win the competition, you’ll receive £99 in free bets and £2 in real cash.
Please read all the terms and conditions of Parimatch’s offer before signing up. If you bet on the Six Nations or any other sport, gamble responsibly.
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Paul has been professionally involved with sports betting since joining the Racing Post in 1986. Although greyhound racing was his first passion, he has also written multiple articles on a wide range of sports from a betting perspective.