6 Nations Betting – What You Need to Know

Original banner featuring a rugby ball and next to it the logo of the six nations tournament and its sponsor which is Guinness

The Six Nations is not only one of the most historic rugby tournaments, but also one of the longest-standing sports competitions in the world. The original incarnation of this international rugby league was first played in 1883 as the Home Nations, featuring England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, but some historians believe the competition has its origin in the 1879 Calcutta Cup. Eventually, the competition size increased, in the 1910 edition, to the Five Nations Championship when France was invited to join the fray, and then further expanded to the Six Nations Championship 90 years later with the introduction of Italy.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the competition, more of the history, Six Nations betting markets, early favourites to win the 2022 Six Nations, and free bet options.

Best 6 Nations Betting Sites by Category

🥇 Best 6 Nations Betting Site in IrelandLadbrokes
🎁 Best Free Bet OfferBet365
📡 Best Live 6 Nations Betting SiteBetway
💯 Best 6 Nations Odds Betting SiteBwin

6 Nations Betting Tips – Our Guide

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The Guinness Six Nations Championship 2022 will kick off February 5th when Wales open their title defence against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Before we delve further into the specifics of the 2022 championship, however, let’s take a look at the tournament’s core betting markets and how you can leverage these to your advantage.

What The Best Betting Markets Are and How to Leverage Them

We’ll start with a look at some of the leading most popular Six Nations betting markets, which can be leveraged to help access value in the market and get the most out of your bankroll.

Outright Match and Championship Markets

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Let’s start with the basics: outright betting markets dominate rugby wagering in general, but especially the Six Nations.

Put simply, such betting requires you to bet on the ultimate winner of a particular match or the championship as a whole, with the ante-post odds for most participants likely to fluctuate depending on real-time news and associated betting activity.

There are no half-measures here either, as your selection will have to win the match or championship in question if the bet is to deliver a return.

Interestingly, match betting is a particularly popular form of rugby betting for the Six Nations, especially as a draw is highly unlikely as an overall outcome. To give some perspective on this, just five Six Nations draws were recorded between 2009 and 2019, while a paltry four took place between 1990 and 2009.

Handicap Betting

With handicap betting, you’ll see a points value assigned to each competing team, with this ultimately subtracted from the main score at the end of the game.

For example, you may bet on a heavy favourite to beat an unfancied team at a handicap of –10.5 points, which essentially affords the underdog a 10-point head start from the outset. Your selection will therefore have to win by more than 10 points for the wager to come in, and different handicaps may be available depending on the match in question.

Of course, this type of rugby bet enables you improve the odds when backing sides that are heavily favoured to win, so it’s a less popular wager during the Six Nations than the group stages of the Rugby World Cup.

However, it can still be used to enhance a bet’s value proposition by punters with knowledge of a particular game, creating the opportunity to maximise returns in the process.

Over/Under Betting

Another popular market revolves around over/under betting, which requires you to wager on the combined number of points scored by both teams during a particular game.

For example, let’s say that one of our listed sportsbooks determines that the total number of points scored in a particular game will be 45 (this is a reasonable assertion when dealing with Six Nation’s clashes between established nations such as Wales, Ireland, France or England).

As a punter, you’ll then bet on whether the actual number of points scored will be higher or lower than this number, with the odds set depending on the nature of the game and how it’s perceived by the bookmaker.

According to the data, the average number of tries and points scored in a Six Nations game has declined since the noughties, so betting on points’ totals under 45 is more likely to offer value to punters. However, you’ll need to make a determination based on each game and your knowledge of the participating teams.

6 Nations Betting Odds – Who are the Early Favourites for 2022?

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While it’s still a little early to appraise the potential winners of the 2022 iteration, most of our listed sportsbooks have published some early Six Nations odds and prices.

Interestingly, defending champions Wales are currently considered to be the fourth favourites to win the 2022 Six Nations championship, although in truth there’s very little separate the side from their closest rivals.

We’ve published a table with the latest 6 Nations betting odds below, while also previewing the three bookmaker’s favourites and their chances of winning.

France (13/8)

France contested the Six Nations title until the bitter end in 2021, before a final-day defeat to Scotland ended their chances of securing a first triumph in 11 years.

However, Les Bleus looked formidable for much of the championship, inspired by their outstanding scrum-half Antoine Dupont and the precocious winger Damian Penaud (who has scored nine tries in 23 outings to date).

The 2021 championship also saw them comprehensively beat the eventual champions Wales on home soil, throwing down a gauntlet to their challengers and earmarking them as genuine contenders this time around.

Certainly, the French squad boasts genuine strength and skill in abundance, while the fact that many of their players are coming into their prime more than justifies an ante-post price of around 13/8.

England (9/4)

Having reached the World Cup final in 2019 and won the Six Nations Championship impressively 12 months later, England were fancied to prevail in the 2021 iteration of the tournament.

However, an unexpectedly shoddy performance ensued for Eddie Jones’ men, as the Swing Low-ers lost to Scotland, Wales and Ireland before finishing in fifth place with a negative points difference.

However, the side has recovered some form since, while it retains a squad that runs deep with talent and considerable experience. Similarly, the RFU has backed coach Eddie Jones to lead the team’s recovery, ending the speculation surrounding his future for now.

Because of this and England’s immense pedigree, the English team are priced at around 9/4 to prevail in 2022, although some sportsbooks are currently offering extended odds of 23/10.

Ireland (9/2)

Ireland, who last won the Six Nations in 2018, finished third earlier this season, only losing twice in close and keenly-contested affairs with runners-up France and eventual champions Wales.

This was a respectable performance for an often-unpredictable side, especially with coach Andy Farrell driving a significant transition as he looks to integrate new blood into a strong, but ageing, squad.

While the bookies have made the Irish third favourites at an average price of 9/2 to prevail next year, however, they may need to develop a little further before claiming the Six Nations crown. In this respect, the 2022 Six Nations Championship may come a little too soon for the Irish, despite their innate ability to beat anybody on their day.

Certainly, if the Irish beat Wales on the opening day and are able to build some quick momentum, they could represent an excellent value ante post wager.

TeamBet365William Hill888sportBetVictor
France6/46/413/85/4
England5/25/29/411/4
Ireland4/19/24/19/2
Scotland10/110/110/111/1
Italy1000/1500/11000/11000/1

As we can see, those of you who want to place an early ante post wager in either of the two favourites would be best served by wagering at BetVictor, who are currently offering slightly longer and extended odds.

However, there’s very little difference in pricing between the four most fancied sides at present, so you may want to consider biding your time until the championship draws a little closer.

The Best 6 Nations Betting Offers

There are plenty of sports betting sites out there that offer bonuses that can be used for betting on a variety of sporting events such as the Six Nations. However, not all bonuses are created equally, so we have provided you some of the best in the table below.

BookmakerOfferClaim
Bet365€50 worth of Bet Credits Claim Now
William HillPut Down a €10 Bet and Receive Free Bets Worth €40 Claim Now
888sportWager €10 on get €30 worth of free betsClaim Now
BetVictorMake a €10 bet and get free bet bonuses worth €30Claim Now
UnibetGet up to €40 back if you lose your first bet and €10 casino bonusClaim Now

2022 Rugby Six Nations Fixtures and Pools

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As we’ve already touched on, Wales kick-off their title defence at the Aviva Stadium against Ireland on February 5th, with Scotland hosting England at what’s likely to be a raucous Murrayfield on the same day.

Favourites France then entertain outsiders Italy at the Parc des Princes on Sunday 6th to complete a stellar opening weekend, with four more rounds of fixtures scheduled over the course of the subsequent six weeks.

Other key dates include Saturday 26th February, when champions Wales visit Twickenham to take on England. On the penultimate weekend of March 11th, England also host Ireland, in a match that could be decisive in determining which (if any) side claims the coveted Triple Crown.

If France and England do perform as the bookies expect and compete for the Six Nations crown, their final day clash at the Parc des Princes on Saturday 19th March could be absolutely pivotal.

Ireland host Scotland on the same, potentially decisive, day, while Wales will be hoping to end their own campaign with a thumping win over minnows Italy at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2022 Six Nations’ fixtures in full, and a brief look at the most eye-catching and seminal games.

Round 1

DateMatch
Saturday 5th FebruaryIreland v Wales
Saturday 5th FebruaryScotland v England
Sunday 6th FebruaryFrance v Italy

Round 2

DateMatch
Saturday 12th FebruaryWales v Scotland
Saturday 12th FebruaryFrance v Ireland
Sunday 13th FebruaryItaly v England

Round 3

DateMatch
Saturday 26th FebruaryScotland v France
Saturday 26th FebruaryEngland v Wales
Sunday 27th FebruaryIreland v Italy

Round 4

DateMatch
Friday 11th MarchWales v France
Saturday 12th MarchItaly v Scotland
Saturday 12th MarchEngland v Ireland

Round 5

DateMatch
Friday 19th MarchWales v Italy
Saturday 19th MarchIreland v Scotland
Saturday 19th MarchFrance v England
Alternative 6 Nations Betting Sites

18+ New UK + IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. www.begambleaware.org

18+ | 1st depositors only. Use promo code H30 to qualify. Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed. | Payment method limitations, country & wagering req. exist | Cashed out/voided bets do not qualify | Play Responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply. http://www.begambleaware.org

18+ New Players only. Make a qualifying deposit of €5* or more and claim the offer within 30 days of registering your account to qualify. Must contain at least one selection at odds of 1/5 (1.20) or greater.. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s.| Terms & Conditions apply | Play Responsibly | www.begambleaware.org

What Are the Trophies of the Six Nations?

Unlike most major events, the Six Nations is not all about winning the main championship trophy. In fact, there are a total of seven trophies to be won, most of which are contested by two participating sides.

The Grand Slam

Available to each participating side, the Grand Slam can be claimed by any team that wins all of its matches. England have won the most Grand Slam titles overall (13), the last of which was achieved in 2016.

The Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is contested by England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (the original home nations), and can be claimed in instances where of these sides beats all the others. Once again, England have won the most Triple Crowns with 26, last achieving this feat as recently as 2020.

The Calcutta Cup

Founded in 1879, this historic trophy is awarded to the winner of England and Scotland. Interestingly, the cup earns its name from the fact that it has been made from melted-down Indian rupees donated by the Calcutta Club.

The Millenium Trophy

This trophy has been contested by England and Ireland since 1988, when it was originally presented to celebrate Dublin’s millennium as an independent city.

The Centenary Quaich

Although this may sound like something out of a Harry Potter film, it’s actually awarded to the winner of Ireland v Scotland and has been contested fiercely since 1989.

The Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy

Initially issued in 2007 on the 200th anniversary of former Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi, this trophy is keenly contested by France and Italy on an annual basis.

The Wooden Spoon

We close with the tournament that nobody wants to win, with the Wooden Spoon awarded to the side that finishes last in the championship. Italy have been bestowed this questionable honour 16 times since 2000, with this already more than France (13) have picked up since 2010!

The History of the 6 Nations

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If we trace the history of the tournament back to its origins in 1883, we see that just four sides competed as part of the Home Nations Championship. This saw England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales do battle with one another, with the latter two nations dominating the early iterations and sharing 10 titles between them from 1900 to 1910.

The France team was invited to form the Five Nations in 1910, although the four-team format returned briefly between 1932 and 1939 prior to the Second World War. Les Bleus initially struggled to make their mark as a competitive team, claiming its first shared title in 1954 and initial outright crown in 1959.

At the turn of the century, the tournament expanded once again to become the Six Nations Championship that we know and love today, with Italy joining the fray. The Azzurri had performed relatively well during previous World Cups, winning against the US, Fiji and a formidable Argentina side in 1987, 1991 and 1995 respectively.

Although they underperformed in the 1999 World Cup, they were worthy of their original invite to the Six Nations in 2000; although they’ve since claimed the dreaded ‘wooden spoon’ 16 times in 21 years.

There have been calls over the years, especially following the success of tier 2 nations in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to expand further the Six Nations Championship, but many spectators on the subject are sceptical about such plans coming to fruition. There was a lot of talk that the Six Nations should include a second set of nations and a promotion/relegation system between the two systems, but it was argued that this would never be agreed to, due to a potential dip in revenue from respective television rights for a relegated team. President of Rugby Europe, Octavian Morariu, also suggested that Georgia and Romania should be allowed to join the tournament, but little has been done on these ideas at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

To close, we thought we’d answer some of your most frequently asked questions about the 6 Nations and rugby union betting in general, so that you can hopefully make some informed (and profitable) wagers next spring!

Who are the Favourites to Win the 2022 6 Nations?

As we’ve already touched on, France are the early ante-post favourites to win the 2022 Six Nations, at an average price of 13/8. However, England are also much-fancied at 9/4. Defending champions Wales could also offer genuine value at odds of 6/1.

Can I Bet on the Leading Try Scorer?

You sure can! Our bookmakers offer a wide range of team and individual betting markets for the Six Nations, including the leading try scorer for the tournament as a whole. The leading try scorers for the 2021 Championship were Duhan van der Merwe, Louis Rees-Zammit, and Anthony Watson.

You can also bet on the next try scorer in a specific game, which is great if you’re a fan of in-play wagering.

What are ‘Prop’ Bets?

Prop bet markets include an array of different wagers, from the first team to score a try, the time of the first try and the initial try scorer. Ideally, you’ll have a clear understanding of 6 Nations betting and the participating teams before placing such wagers, as this can help you to bank significant profits as a punter!

Who Has Won the Championship the Most

Overall, England is the most successful Six Nations side, with 29 outright wins and 10 shared titles since 1883. The Swing Low-ers have also won the most titles since the championship last expanded in 2000 (7). Wales are the next most successful, with 28 outright triumphs (including six since 2000) and 11 shared titles.

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