Odds: Italy 10/1, Draw 50/1, England 1/50
Kick Off: 1500, 04/02/2018
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico
Italy made an encouraging start to last season’s Six Nations, leading Wales 7-3 at half-time in their opening match, and we’re hoping they can again hit the ground running versus England.
Admittedly, not much went right for the Azzurri after that, but shrewd coach Conor O’Shea has now had almost two years to mould his team together and that should make a difference this term.
A Look At Italy’s Betting Odds
Italy ended the 2017 Six Nations with no wins and a points difference of minus 151, with a closing 29-0 loss to Scotland leaving O’Shea with much to ponder.
However, there were some encouraging signs in three summer games in the southern hemisphere, including a 40-27 defeat to Australia.
The autumn internationals began with a 19-10 victory over Fiji, before Argentina and South Africa predictably proved too strong, but a few individual efforts caught the eye.
Zebra captain Tommaso Castello ran hard throughout those fixtures in the centres, while 20-year-old flanker Giovanni Licata looks a raw but exciting prospect.
With Sergio Parisse still helping to steer the ship, such energetic members of the supporting cast could give the Azzurri a significant lift.
Looking at the Italy vs England odds, the hosts can also be backed at 17/20 with 10.5 points start in the first-half handicap market.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
England will begin their bid to complete a hat-trick of Six Nations titles rocked by a number of absentees, with Elliot Daly, Jack Nowell and Semesa Rokoduguni missing from the back line.
Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes are among the injured forwards, while James Haskell and Joe Marler are suspended for the trip to Rome.
In all, they could be without as many as 18 players, although Eddie Jones insists his set-up is better equipped to deal with the losses than any other team.
He said: “Without a doubt, the attrition rate is an advantage we have. We have got the most money, we have got the most players and we have got the most depth, so we should win.”
We believe the Azzurri can perform with credit, but those who feel the visitors are still a class apart may see 33/100 for Jones’ team to lead at half-time and full-time as a gift from the Italy vs England odds.
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Best bets for Italy vs England