Six Nations Betting: What Are The Odds Of A Grand Slam In 2023?
There might be three rounds of fixtures left to play, but just two teams are still in with a chance of completing a clean sweep of Six Nations Championship honours in 2023.
The Grand Slam is the holy grail for the sides that enter this tournament and betting sites are examining the possibility of either Ireland or Scotland being the ones to claim it in the coming weeks.
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Slam winners in 2009 and 2018, Ireland were close to achieving this feat last year with their sole defeat coming at the hands of France in a second round clash at Saint-Denis.
Les Bleus went on from there to secure a first Grand Slam in 12 years, but are already out of the running for this prestigious prize in the current campaign.
Ireland And Scotland Still In The Slam Hunt
After recording a comprehensive bonus point triumph over Wales in the opening round of the Championship - a first victory in Cardiff for a decade - Ireland also amassed four tries in a 32-19 success at the expense of the French.
A visit to Italy and the Stadio Olimpico is on the cards this Saturday and Andy Farrell’s men are huge favourites with the best rugby betting sites to continue their winning ways.
Scotland are also in the mix for a Slam as a consequence of their own triumphs against England and Wales.
Whereas Gregor Townsend’s charges have made a habit of getting past the challenge of the English in recent seasons, the Welsh have proven to be a thorn in the side of their Celtic cousins.
Yet the Scots were not to be denied in their latest meeting as a brace of Kyle Steyn tries helped them towards a 35-7 success on their home turf of Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
If the Tartan Army are to pull off a Grand Slam this year, it will be their first time to do so since 1990.
The tournament was under the guise of the Five Nations back then with Italy’s admittance to the Championship not happening for another 10 years.
Irish The Current Front-Runners For A Clean Sweep Of Silverware
Despite having significant credentials, however, it is Ireland who remain favourites to pick up a Grand Slam this year.
While they will not underestimate the challenge of a vastly-improving Italian outfit, Scotland face a tough examination against France themselves this weekend.
The Irish are expected to maintain their winning streak going into the fourth round at the very least and this is reflected in the fact that BetVictor have them listed as a 4/6 probability to claim a Grand Slam.
Even though a number of his key players have picked up injuries during the course of the tournament to date, Ireland head coach Farrell is always keen to explore the depth of his squad.
A number of fringe players have taken their chances in recent weeks and the absence of star names isn’t necessarily to their detriment.
Possibility Of There Being No Grand Slam Winner Is Worth Considering
However, the prospect of there being no Grand Slam winner in 2023 remains a live one and this as a more likely scenario than Scotland bridging a 33-year gap to their last sweep of Championship honours.
888sport see it as a 6/4 likelihood and with 11 of the 23 Six Nations Championships to date failing to produce a Grand Slam champion, it certainly shouldn’t be ruled out on this occasion.
Scots Looking To End A Long Slam Drought
Nor should Scotland’s candidacy for each of the three main prizes - the Six Nations Championship, the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam - be ignored, given they only marginally trail Ireland by the slenderest of margins at the summit of the table.
Should they pull off a win over France on Sunday, the Scots will be brimming with confidence in advance of Ireland’s trip to Murrayfield on March 12.
When you have a player like Finn Russell operating at out-half, you are always capable of causing damage and the French defence will be on high alert this weekend.
Scotland did defeat Les Bleus on their last visit to Stade de France two years ago, but that of course was played behind closed doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Given their lack of success in this tournament over the past couple of decades, UK bookmakers are reluctant to give short odds on Scotland adding a Six Nations Grand Slam to their list of achievements.
That said, Bet365 are offering 10/1 on Townsend’s troops reaching the promised land in the closing three rounds, but if they remain in the hunt following the French game, then you get a sense that their odds could be substantially slashed.
While world number one Ireland are the current favourites for a Grand Slam, Scotland will look to thrive in the role of underdogs.
At the same time, the Scots are currently fifth in the official rankings and will believe they fully merit being contenders in this Championship.
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