ALL Six Nations sides are in action this weekend with the pick of the ties being in Cardiff today s Wales host South Africa, with the home side as slight 13-10 underdogs at Paddy Power.
The annual Autumn International Series, with the southern hemisphere sides coming up north, kicks off with the Springboks heading into the match as 8-13 favourites having beaten Australia and Argentina in recent months.
In the Rugby Championship they lost the deciding match against New Zealand but there is plenty of optimism in the South African camp two years out from the World Cup. Wales to triumph by between 1-5 points is 9-2 with the same odds for the visitors to win the match by between 6-10 points. Flying wing Bryan Habana is 10-1 favourite for the first try followed by George North at 11-1.
England welcome Argentina to Twickenham after their victory against Australia last weekend. Stuart Lancaster’s side are 1-9 favourites with the visitors 5-1 at Paddy Power.
However, the Pumas shouldn’t be discounted with small margins predicted – England are 5-1 to win the match by between 6-10 points. Billy Twelvetrees is set to keep his place and Alex Corbisiero will return at prop along with four changes from last week in Wilson, Hartley, Marler and Foden.
Despite barely touching the ball against Australia, Chris Ashton is 15-2 favourite for the first try along with Foden. After patchy kicking last week Owen Farrell is 6-4 to successfully convert 100 per cent of his placed kicks.
In the other early games Scotland take on Japan, with the home side as big 1-25 favourites to score a victory and Italy take on Australia, who are 2-9 to bounce back from their loss to England.
Some promising signs at the Six Nations were squashed by a disappointing summer but Scotland are predicted to be too strong for 8-1 outsiders Japan.
Italy have had some good performances in 2013 and although they are 3-1 underdogs it won’t be an easy game for the visitors.
In the late games Ireland bring Samoa to Aviva with the hosts as 2-7 favourites, followed by France welcoming world champions New Zealand to Paris.
Ireland are 9-2 to win the game by 6-10 points and it's 4-1 for the first score of the game to an Irish try, while their visitors are 5-2 to win the match.
France are 7-2 to beat the All Blacks who are 1-5 in the 8pm kick-off. France’s last matches came back in June where they were bossed in a 3-0 Test loss against the visitors.
Given the gulf in recent form New Zealand can be backed at 11-10 to win by 13 points or more, 7-2 to win by between 21-30 points, and odds of 14-1 are given for star fly-half Dan Carter to score a try, conversion, penalty and drop goal.
With just two months until the Six Nations the Autumn Internationals represent a chance for coaches to try new combinations and players a platform to claim their squad spot. Wales are 2-1 favourites for the 2014 tournament followed by France and England at 12-5 and Ireland at 11-2.
Looking ahead to the 2015 World Cup current holders New Zealand are 5-4 strong- favourites to retain their title with South Africa at 5-1 and hosts England as 11-2 third favourites.
Sebastian Bell (Paddy Power)
Paddy Power special – Double Odds
If your winning 1st Tryscorer scores a 2nd try we’ll DOUBLE your odds. Applies to England v Argentina, Wales v South Africa, Ireland v Samoa and France v New Zealand.