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With the tournament reaching its climax, it certainly won’t feel that way for the winless Italians. They were already 27 points behind Wales at the halfway point in their last encounter and it’s hard to get to enthused about their setup under Franco Smith.
Scotland, on the other hand, having started the competition in blistering form when beating England at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years, they’ve have lost out to both Wales and Ireland by tight margins in each of their last two subsequent rounds.
That Welsh game saw them nine points ahead at the break before Matt Fagerson was given his marching orders for the final half an hour, as Wayne Pivac’s men stormed to victory which seems to have taken the wind out of this Scottish team.
One thing they can take confidence in, is the fact that Italy have now lost 31 straight matches in this competition dating back to 2015, and although that last victory did come at this very stadium, we certainly don’t think we’ll be seeing a repeat of that this year.
The Scots have won all nine meetings between the two sides since that last defeat, but interestingly only two of those has been bigger than the current 28-point handicap line, as the average across those stands at 17.1.
Italy +28 Point Handicap
The bookies look to have finally started to gauge where the Italians currently stand after we took advantage of the handicap lines against France (-24), Ireland (-22) and Wales (-24), all of which were easily covered.
However, against a team that has lost against two of the aforementioned teams already and is probably the fifth best team in this years’ competition even after their win against England, it might be worth getting behind the visitors at the current line.
Scotland will ring the changes for this encounter having kept to a pretty consistent side for the last two rounds and that has to be factored in into this selection.
Moreover, Gregor Townsend’s men have only once covered the current handicap line across their last 13 games at Murrayfield, coming against Georgia last year.
The Azzurri have only lost by more than 28 points in only four of their last 10 games outside of Rome since the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, coming against South Africa at that World Cup, Wales and Ireland at last years’ Six Nations and France at the more recent Autumn Nations Cup.
The results we’re more interested in are the tighter ones against France (35-22), Scotland (28-17), Wales (38-18) and England (41-18) since the start of last year, as the last two came in their two most recent trips to opposition.
0.5 Pts: Italy +28 Point Handicap At 10/11
SCOTLAND V ITALY ODDS AVAILABLE HERE
ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 18/03/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS