Scotland v Ireland Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 9th February 2019

Scotland Flag Rugby Ball
Ireland Flag Rugby Ball

Can Ireland bounce back in a crucial match in their Six Nations campaign? They were beaten in Dublin last weekend, which was an abrupt halt to their push for a glittering 2019. While one defeat doesn’t rule the Irish out of retaining their title, a defeat to England is a really difficult way to start the season. Now they need to regroup for the next four games, especially in a World Cup year.

Meanwhile, this fixture hasn’t been made any easier by Scotland’s win last time out. While there were a few negatives from their victory over Italy, their opening weekend success has them targeting a perfect start. After getting good results at Murrayfield back in the 2018 campaign, can they see off the champions and add to their troubles?

Top Tips

Scotland +8.5 Point Handicap @ 8/11

TriBet – Neither Team (to win by 7+ Points) @ 7/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Scotland News: Promise or Problems?

Scotland v Ireland Lineout at Murrayfield
Conor Lawless, flickr

Scotland were able to get their campaign off to a winning start last time out, as they saw off Italy 33-20. They had controlled most of that game, which gave home fans plenty to be optimistic about. This campaign does seem like a chance for the Scots to kick on and build on a strong season last time out, but the clash with Italy did raise some issues.

Scots to Tackle Defensive Worries

Assistant coach Mike Blair has swatted away claims that their defence is an issue, despite the late points they conceded to the Italians. They went from 33-3 up to conceding 13 late points against the worst side in the competition. Regardless of what those within the camp claim, that has to be a major issue for the hosts.

Ireland News: Will the Fightback Begin?

Ireland Players in Lineout
Conor Lawless, flickr

The Irish will be aiming to target the Scottish defensive concerns in order to repair their own season. They need to fight back after their defeat, especially having lost their momentum ahead of the World Cup. Joe Schmidt called it a reality check, and he’ll be looking for a response from his players in Saturday’s clash.

Irish Struggling with Injury

There’s more than just pressure on Ireland to succeed after their brutal encounter with England. That frenzied battle has left a mark, with Devin Toner and Garry Ringrose ruled out for the Irish this weekend. They’re heading to Edinburgh trying to patch up their side. Keith Earls is likely to return to the side – he was subbed off on Saturday along with Toner and Ringrose. While the Irish need a response, they’ve got an uphill battle with a weakened side.

Another Bruising Battle?

That clash with England was a really physical affair, and that might be the blueprint for taking Ireland on. The Scots are clearly going with that approach, as Jamie Ritchie says they can match the bruising way that England took down the title favourites. With a strong home crowd roaring them on, the Scots should be a real test for the Irish.

Analysis: Close Clash at Murrayfield

The bookies have faith in Ireland and their ability to return to winning ways in this clash. The visitors are priced up at 2/5 to win Saturday’s clash, while Scotland are out at 11/5 for a home win. You can find the draw at odds of 25/1, which suggests a one-sided affair. However, we see things being close here.

Scottish Test

The hosts are on the up after strong home results in 2018 – which saw them beat France and England on home turf. Now they’re looking to do the same to the Irish and win the Centenary Quaich. Three of the last four meetings between these two at Murrayfield have seen Scotland win, so can they add another victory this weekend?

Value in Backing Tight Game

Scotland should have confidence in their ability to win this one, but they’re hardly likely to run away with a win. Given Ireland’s display last weekend, we don’t think either of these sides are likely to dominate this clash. That has us tempted by the Scots, who are priced at 8/11 with an 8.5 point advantage in the handicap betting. On top of that, we like the look of the TriBet market here. That market has 7/4 on neither side winning this by a margin of seven points or more, which is great value given that the Scots’ home advantage evens out this encounter.

Recent Matches

Ireland picked up a comfortable win over the Scots last year on their way to Gland Slam glory. However, it’s not all gone their way in recent years, especially in trips to face the Scots. While the Irish have dominated the last four meetings overall, they’ve struggled in their visits to Murrayfield, something we saw back in 2017.

10th March 2018: Ireland 28 – 8 Scotland

The Irish eased to victory in this meeting in Dublin last year, notching 14 points in each half, building up a strong early lead. The champions will be looking to continue that form, which saw them cruise to a 20 point winning margin during one of the Scots’ strongest campaigns in the tournament.

4th February 2017: Scotland 27 – 22 Ireland

Things were much closer when these two met back in 2017, with the Scots making a bustling start to that encounter. They were 21-8 up by half-time, with the Irish fighting back to put the hosts’ lead under threat in the second half. The Scots then held on to claim a third win in four meetings at home.

19th March 2016: Ireland 35 – 25 Scotland

Another comfortable home victory saw the Irish thanking Jonny Sexton’s boot. He hit 11 first-half points to put the Irish on course for a win, adding another four after the break. Overall, he contributed 15 of their 35 points, pushing them over the line in a hard fought battle at the Aviva.

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