Scotland v Italy Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 2nd February 2019

Scotland Flag Rugby Ball
Italy Flag Rugby Ball

Scotland are heavy favourites to win their opening Six Nations clash, as they prepare to host perennial wooden spooners Italy on Saturday. The hosts are hoping this will be their year to mount a real push for the title. However, the Scots are seen as the fourth placed team in a three-horse race. They come into this year fighting with three of the top four in the world, so how will the Scots cope?

They’ve been handed a clash with the rank outsiders, so we do expect the Scots to make a strong start – they simply have to if they are to have any chance of challenging. While things will get tougher down the line, they can look forward to a strong display at Murrayfield this weekend, as they prepare to take on the 1000/1 outsiders for the title. Can the hosts rack up a big win and get the home crowd roaring?

Top Tips

Scotland -24 Point Handicap @ 10/11

Scotland 26-30 Point Winning Margin @ 5/1

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

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Scotland News: How Far Can Scotland Go?

Scotland Match Against Italy at Murrayfield
*Debs*, flickr

The Scots moved into third in the Six Nations last year, which was a great finish for a side who haven’t won this competition since 1999. They are hitting the 20 year anniversary of that success, but what are their prospects of kicking on and recapturing the title in the 2019 Six Nations campaign? As said, they are up against at least three classy opponents, so it really does look a big ask for them to match, let alone better, their result from last year.

Building on Success

The Scots may have dreams of winning the tournament, but the aim will be to consolidate their success last term. Gregor Townsend’s side beat England, France and Italy last Six Nations, but now they have tough trips to Paris and London, along with clashes against in form sides Ireland and Wales at home. With a difficult fixture list, not going backwards is the aim for the hosts but one we feel they may not be able to achieve.

An eye on the future

On top of that, there’s got to be a few Scottish eyes with a 2020 vision. The Rugby World Cup is the signing off point for the bosses of England, Ireland and Wales. The Scots could take advantage of that in a year’s time, especially with their club sides making progress this term. Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh are into the last eight of the Champions Cup, a great sign for years to come and sure to provide something of a morale boost for the players involved in both that and this tournament.

Italy News: Tough Year for Barren Italians

Italy Match Against Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico

Italy had a period where they looked like they were progressing in the Six Nations. However, they’ve not won a match in this competition since 2015. The Autumn Internationals brought heavy defeats to Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, which has left the Italians low on confidence ahead of this crunch opener. At some stage the pressure to remove or replace them from the tournament may get too great unless they can start winning matches again so this adds a huge burden to their shoulders.

Anniversary for Italians

Italy are also marking an anniversary this year, as they reach two decades of Six Nations participation. However, making the step up hasn’t been easy for them. Their place continues to be questioned, after winning just 12 times in their 95 internationals in the tournament. With promotion and relegation still brought up as a potential solution, the fact they’ve finished with the Wooden Spoon on 13 occasions doesn’t bode well for them!

Analysis: Scots Expecting Cruise

There’s little doubt about who is favoured ahead of this clash, with Scotland priced up at 1/50 to claim a win on Saturday. The Italians are a 16/1 shot for an away victory, while the draw is out at 50/1. That does seem fair, especially with one of these two making progress, while the other continues to stagnate.

Italy Run Unlikely to End

The odds clearly show that the Italians’ almost four year wait for a Six Nations win isn’t likely to end in this one. They come here with 17 defeats in their last 21 trips, while they’ve won just once away to the Scots. The hosts are coming off victories against Argentina and Fiji in the autumn, and we expect them to add to that in style when they host the weakest side in the tournament.

Comfortable Clash for Hosts

The Scots should live up to their pre-match odds, and we don’t see this one being close at all. The Italians lost by a margin of 111 points across their five games last year, conceding an average of 40 points per trip. They’ve been losing by an average of 21 points during their 17 match losing streak, and we expect a bigger margin with the Italians on the road for this clash. We’re backing the Scots to win with a handicap of 24 points at nice odds of 10/11, having scored 70 points across their last two home meetings with the Italians. We’re also going for the hosts’ winning margin to be between 26 and 30 points, which seems like great value at very chunky looking odds of 5/1.

Recent Matches

These two sides have had more meetings than most Six Nations rivals. The pair have met in three friendly clashes in the last four years, on top of their yearly clash in this competition. The Scots have the upper hand across those contests and they’ll be looking to add to that. However, will this game match the drama of their last encounter?

17th March 2018: Italy 27-29 Scotland

Last year’s clash in Rome was a dramatic affair, with the two sharing 56 points between them. However, it took a last minute penalty from Greig Laidlaw to prevent a defeat for Scotland in Italy. He added three points in the 79th minute, which prevented Italy ending their winless streak in this competition.

10th June 2017: Italy 13-34 Scotland

Their second meeting in 2017 was much more comprehensive. The two clashed in Singapore, with Scotland putting on a show on their way to victory. They dominated throughout, keeping a healthy lead, after going into the break with a 12 point advantage.

18th March 2017: Scotland 29-0 Italy

Scotland also thrashed the Italians in their last meeting in Scotland, part of their pointless campaign. The Scots pulled of a thumping win in this encounter, and they’ll be searching for another huge margin when the pair meet once again on Saturday.

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