How to bet on the Six Nations
A highlight of the sporting spring. Each year a new chapter is added to stories of passionate rugby rivalries, some of which date back more than 100 years. The action, between the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest rugby-playing nations, is gripping and intense – and so is the betting that takes place on this historic tournament.
This is sport as ritual – with top-class rugby at its heart. And the huge volume of betting on the Six Nations adds to the tournament’s status as one of the biggest landmarks on the sporting calendar.
The Six Nations has existed in its current form since 2000, when Italy joined the competition. Before that it was the Five Nations; and before France came to the party it was for many decades the Home Nations Championship.
Rugby fans in the countries of Great Britain, Ireland, France and Italy all cherish the long and proud history of the ancient sporting rivalries that are revisited each year.
Six Nations betting sites offer a broad range of ways in which you can wager on the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest annual rugby union tournament. You can bet on outright markets, such as the winner of the tournament and of each match, as well as the top try scorer and point scorer odds.
What the Six Nations lacked for in fans in 2021, it more than made up for in drama as a scintillating Championship was won by 12/1 outsiders Wales. With the home nations and France enjoying a vintage Autumn Nations Series in November, this year’s competition promises just as much and could be the most competitive yet.
|Six Nations fixtures|
|Ireland v Wales||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Saturday, February 5, 9:15am ET|
|Scotland v England||BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh||Saturday, February 5, 11:45am ET|
|France v Italy||Stade de France, Paris||Sunday, February 6, 10am ET|
|Wales v Scotland||Principality Stadium, Cardiff||Saturday, February 12, 9:15am ET|
|France v Ireland||Stade de France, Paris||Saturday, February 12, 11:45am ET|
|Italy v England||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||Sunday, February 13, 11am ET|
|Scotland v France||BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh||Saturday, February 26, 9:15am ET|
|England v Wales||Twickenham, London||Saturday, February 26, 11:45am GMT|
|Ireland v Italy||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Sunday, February 27, 11am GMT|
|Wales v France||Principality Stadium, Cardiff||Friday, March 11, 3pm ET|
|Italy v Scotland||Stadio Olimpico, Rome||Saturday, March 12, 9:15am ET|
|England v Ireland||Twickenham, London||Saturday, March 12, 11:45am ET|
|Wales v Italy||Principality Stadium, Cardiff||Saturday, March 19, 9:15am ET|
|Ireland v Scotland||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Saturday, March 19 11:45pm ET|
|France v England||Stade de France, Paris||Saturday, March 19, 3pm ET|
Who will win the Six Nations outright in 2022? England will be a popular choice for people who like to pick the tournament winner when betting on Six Nations rugby.
There is a settled look to a side who followed up their impressive run to the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final by winning the Six Nations in 2020, although they stuttered last year as seems to be the way with Eddie Jones' men. That said, France has a strong chance of winning their first title since 2010. The French were resurgent in 2020 following a very disappointing 2019 campaign and boast some of the world's best young players. They lost out to England only on points difference in the final table in 2019 and went close again a year later. Maybe this is their year?
Reigning champions Wales, Grand Slam winners in 2019, won only two games the following year and will be desperate to avoid a similar slump. Ireland, meanwhile, showed signs of promise as the 2021 campaign progressed and will hope to get back to something like their Grand Slam-winning form of 2018. Will this year finally be the time Scotland realize their true potential – it might be where the smart money goes?
This is one of the most challenging and exciting ways of enjoying Six Nations betting. Can you work out who will be voted the best player in the tournament? The word “voted” is key to this market. The award is decided by a public poll after the tournament once the shortlist has been decided by a panel of experts.
Clearly, you need to identify a player who is going to shine with a string of eye-catching and influential performances. But it’s not enough to focus purely on the captain or the kicker of the team you think will finish top of the table. Antoine Dupont won the vote in 2020 despite France not winning the title, while last year's winner, Hamish Watson, finished fourth with his Scotland side in the overall table.
There is no on-field position that tops the poll regularly. The last four winners were a winger, a lock, a scrum-half and a flanker. Look at players such as Charles Ollivon of France, or England’s Maro Itoje, who are bound to have a big influence on the destiny of the trophy.
This is a Six Nations betting market where it is easy to identify a short list of candidates – but quite a challenge to pick the eventual winner. The men with goal-kicking duties for their respective nations are responsible for the majority of each team’s points. It can pay to look for a player who augments his penalties and conversions with the occasional try.
Romain Ntamack of France scored three tries as he topped the list in 2020 – without those scores, he would have been fourth in the points table. Owen Farrell should be strongly fancied for this market, having won it in 2019, but the England captain and kicker has scored only five Six Nations tries since his debut in the competition in 2012.
Dan Biggar of Wales and Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton (the winner in 2021 with 65 points) recorded two tries each in 2020 and will surely challenge again for the honor of being top scorer.
Many Six Nations betting sites will offer you the opportunity to wager on the player you think will score the most tries in the tournament. This is an extremely competitive market and there is often only one try between the top scorer and a host of pursuers.
It's usually wingers who pick this up – Jonny May with six in 2019, and Jacob Stockdale with seven the year before, were emphatically top of their class. Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe's five tries were enough to win last year. But 2020 saw France skipper and flanker Charles Ollivon score four tries to head the list.
Look for players who have a consistent record of crossing the try-line. Factor in which sides you think will play well, and which will try to win with a flowing, expansive game. One man worth considering is Josh Adams of Wales. He's incredibly consistent and was also leading try scorer at the 2019 World Cup. If the Welsh enjoy a good 2022, Adams could be a compelling bet at decent odds.
Having finished fifth the previous year, and not among the favourites being tipped for the title pre-tournament, Wales secured their 28th title in 2021. Heading into the final week of fixtures, Wayne Pivac's men had won four from four and had the opportunity to win the Grand Slam, but were denied by a late try in Paris during their game with France. They did, however, secure the Triple Crown, with wins over the other home nations.
Player of the tournament
Scotland recorded impressive wins over England, France and Italy, while their two defeats – against the Welsh and Irish – were mighty close (one and three point margins, respectively). Key to their impressive showing in 2021 was the form of flanker Hamish Watson. Arguably the northern hemisphere's best "jackal", Watson was his usual abrasive self and caused havoc for opposing teams at the breakdown throughout. His form also earned him a call-up to the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa later in the year.
Top point scorer
While there were murmurs that the former World Rugby Player of the Year had lost some of what had won him that title, the Irish fly-half reminded everyone just how much he still has to offer his team. The 36-year-old kept his side's attack ticking all tournament and the 65 points he contributed along the way were more than any other player in the tournament.
Top try scorer
Duhan van der Merwe
The South-African born winger came into the 2021 tournament with a lot of hype. The 6ft 4in monster wing has ripped it up for Edinburgh since his arrival in 2017 and now recently nationalised, provided Scotland with his unique ball-carrying and explosive speed. Five tries in as many games was a better return than anyone else, and he continued that form as he headed to the country of his birth for the British and Irish Lions tour a few months later.
Known to many English rugby fans simply as HQ, Twickenham is the second largest stadium in the United Kingdom behind Wembley Stadium. It sits to the west of London and has been redeveloped impressively in recent decades to hold a capacity of 82,000 spectators.
Just because the first match of the tournament has kicked off, that doesn’t mean the Six Nations betting has to stop.
Modern sportsbooks combine digital technology with sophisticated algorithms. That means they can now update their Six Nations odds instantly, allowing bettors to continue playing on popular markets while the action unfolds.
For instance, if England concede two tries in the opening 20 minutes of their first match, you will still be able to back them to win the game – and the tournament as a whole – but the odds will be longer. In-play betting on rugby union is hugely popular and is another great way to get closer to the Six Nations action.