Ireland vs Italy: Hosts tipped to open floodgates with early try

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Odds: Ireland 1/100, Draw 40/1, Italy 22/1

Kick Off: 1415, 10/02/2018

Stadium: Aviva Stadium


Ireland needed a last-gasp, long-range drop goal to get their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start in France but will be expecting an easier ride when entertaining Italy.

The men in green have been ruthless against the Azzurri over the past couple of years, prevailing 63-10 in Rome last term and 58-15 in Dublin two years ago.

With another convincing victory almost assured, Joe Schmidt’s side don’t need to worry about going for goal with any early penalties.

The bonus point available for crossing the whitewash four times is more of a focus, so we’re snapping up Evens for the first scoring play to be a try for the hosts in our Ireland vs Italy betting predictions.

A Look At Ireland’s Betting Odds

Ireland’s gruelling 15-13 triumph in Paris was marred by Josh Van der Flier’s season-ending knee injury, described as a “massive” blow to their title hopes by team-mate CJ Stander.

However, they do now have the benefit of three successive home matches, with Wales and Scotland also heading to Dublin, before a Twickenham showdown with England on March 17.

Schmidt will be wary of the need to preserve energy ahead of that tough finish, so a clutch of changes are predicted this weekend.

Those coming in will be eager to state their case for inclusion at a later date, though, so 4/5 for a third straight win over the Azzurri by more than 30 points appeals for our Ireland vs Italy betting tips.

A Look At Italy’s Betting Odds

As usual, Italy did not lack effort or endeavour in their 46-15 loss to England at the Stadio Olimpico and they did carve the defending champions open out wide for two tries.

However, the way Anthony Watson was able to touch down twice inside the opening 10 minutes highlighted the gulf in class that still exists between the other nations and Conor O’Shea’s side.

With captain Sergio Parisse finishing the game with a rib injury, the feeling is that Italy will have to make do with glimpses of hope for the future from this inexperienced team, which had nine starters possessing 10 caps or fewer.

The Azzurri trailed by 22 points at half-time on their last trip to Aviva Stadium, so 17/20 they are more than 15 behind at the break here stands out from the Ireland vs Italy odds.

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Best bets for Ireland vs Italy

First scoring play to be Ireland try @ Evens

Ireland -30.5 points @ 4/5

Ireland -15.5 points at HT @ 17/20

Posted By

Tony has been a journalist for more than 25 years, with past positions including Press Association betting editor, Teletext Sport betting editor and Sport Newspapers deputy racing editor. A Manchester United and Salford Red Devils supporter, he spends much of his spare time walking his two pet greyhounds.