The 6 Nations is the highlight of the sporting calendar during the cold winter months. From Dublin’s bustling pubs to the Welsh valleys, rugby fans eagerly await each match.
The 2024 Six Nations is set to be one of the best yet. The opening clash between France and Ireland will be a thrilling curtain-raiser to the 2024 tournament. The fixture is scheduled for 8:00 PM on February 2nd—mark that date and time in your calendars.
The action continues the following day with England visiting Rome to play Italy and Wales hosting Scotland in Cardiff.
But the big questions on everyone’s lips are: Who will clinch the top spot, and who’s destined for the Wooden Spoon?
We’ve got the latest odds, predictions for the tournament, and an in-depth look at the current favourites for the coveted Grand Slam.
The 6 Nations 2024 Odds
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2024 6 Nations Favourites
France and Ireland are neck-and-neck in the odds, both listed at 5/4. This makes the opening match between these two juggernauts not just a curtain-raiser but a potential Grand Slam decider.
Whoever emerges victorious on February 2nd will likely ride a wave of confidence through the rest of the tournament.
Underperforming Giants: England & Wales
Typically considered powerhouse contenders, England and Wales are up against long odds this year, with England notably at 13/2.
Despite their historically strong records, recent poor performances and internal issues cast a shadow over both teams.
Fans from both countries considering a bet on the Six Nations might want to think twice before parting with their money this year.
Dark Horses: Scotland
Scotland’s recent rugby performances make a compelling case for considering them as the dark horse in the 2024 Six Nations. Let’s delve into their recent form to understand why:
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A Strong August 2023
- Scotland vs. Georgia (33-6): Scotland decisively began their summer campaign, dismantling Georgia with a convincing 33-6 victory.
- France vs. Scotland (30-27) and Scotland vs. France (25-21): Scotland’s back-to-back encounters with France were exceptionally competitive, losing by a mere three points in France and avenging that loss with a win at home.
Consistency in July 2023
- Scotland vs. Italy (25-13): The Scots continued their good form into July, beating Italy in another commanding performance.
Mixed but Promising Results in Six Nations 2023
- Scotland vs. Italy (26-14): Another win against Italy in March 2023 showed Scotland’s consistency against teams they are expected to beat.
- Scotland vs. Ireland (7-22): Despite a loss to Ireland, the defeat wasn’t overwhelming, leaving room for optimism.
- France vs. Scotland (32-21): Similar to Ireland, Scotland put up a good fight against France, a potential 2024 favorite.
- Scotland vs. Wales (35-7): A resounding win over Wales was a standout performance, especially given Wales’ traditional strength.
- England vs. Scotland (23-29): Perhaps the crown jewel of Scotland’s recent performances was an away win against England, always a difficult feat.
Why Scotland Could be the Dark Horse:
- Versatility: Scotland’s recent results show they can not only win the games they’re expected to but also challenge, and even beat, traditionally stronger teams.
- Momentum: With a string of convincing wins and narrow losses against top sides, Scotland has been building momentum.
- Defensive Solidity: The Scots have shown an ability to put up strong defensive performances, a key trait for any dark horse contender.
- Betfred Odds at 14/1: While not exactly favorites, Scotland’s odds offer great value for a side that could surprise many.
In summary, don’t sleep on Scotland in the upcoming 2024 Six Nations. Their recent form, fighting spirit, and tactical nuance make them a genuine dark horse contender. While I can’t see them topping the table, a second place would be a fantastic achievement.
The Wooden Spoon: The Shame of Finishing Last in Six Nations
In Six Nations rugby, glory isn’t the only outcome that captures attention. At the opposite end of the spectrum lies the “Wooden Spoon,” a term synonymous with finishing last in the tournament.
While no physical spoon is awarded, the metaphorical weight of the Wooden Spoon can hang heavily on any team unfortunate enough to “win” it.
Since the Six Nations kicked off in 2000, England and Ireland have never found themselves at the bottom of the table. On the other hand, Italy has claimed the Wooden Spoon 18 times and suffered a clean sweep of losses 13 times.
A Legacy No One Wants
This not-so-coveted title has its roots steeped in sporting tradition. Although initially related to academic failure at Cambridge University, the Wooden Spoon has found its home in rugby, which serves as a reminder of underachievement.
Teams strive to avoid this ignominy, knowing that it will overshadow any flashes of brilliance they may have shown throughout the competition.
The Stigma Attached
Finishing last in the Six Nations isn’t just a statistical note; it’s an emotional burden. It often sparks debates around coaching decisions, player form, and even the basic competency of a rugby program. The stain of the Wooden Spoon can last long after the tournament, affecting team morale.
Who’s at Risk in 2024?
With Betfred setting Italy’s odds at a staggering 250/1, they seem the most likely candidate for this dubious honor. Wales, too, at 25/1, is a far cry from their dominant days, and questions still need to be answered if they can avoid finishing at the bottom.
Betting on the Underdog?
For the daring bettor, there might be some value in wagering on who takes home the Wooden Spoon. While the odds might not be as lucrative as predicting the Grand Slam winner, the risks involved in such a bet offer a different kind of excitement.
In summary, while the Wooden Spoon may not come with the fanfare and glory of a Six Nations championship, it carries its own set of dramas, debates, and, yes, shame. But for teams and fans alike, it’s also a poignant reminder that there’s nowhere to go but up.
2024 6 Nations Prediction
The 2024 Six Nations Championship kicks off with a bang, as two tournament favorites, Ireland and France, face each other right out of the gate. This curtain-raiser will set the tone for the entire championship. If Ireland can seal the deal against France, I predict they will win the tournament outright.
With Betfred odds for both teams set at 5/4, Ireland and France are neck and neck. But we’re leaning towards the Irish for a few key reasons:
- Consistency: Ireland has been a consistent performer in the Six Nations, rarely dropping below the top three in recent years.
- Depth: Their player pool is deep, boasting a balance of experience and young talent that could be crucial in tight matches.
- Tactics: Irish gameplay, known for its tactical depth, could outwit the flair and spontaneity of the French side.
The first match between Ireland and France is pivotal. It’s not just about the points; it’s about setting the psychological tone for the rest of the tournament. A win for Ireland here could give them the momentum they need to go all the way.
While France is a formidable opponent, our money is on Ireland to clinch the 2024 Six Nations Championship in a thrilling competition that promises to keep fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.