This game was not initially tagged as one between Grand Slam winners and Wooden Spoon losers, but an England victory over France at Twickenham could make this more a probable than possible Six Nations eventuality.
France have not lost three times in a single Six Nations campaign since 2001 and punters have to look back to 1958 to locate the last time they were beaten in five successive games in the competition.
England are 1/3 to claim a fourth straight home victory over France, but no team has the capacity to go from the ridiculous to the sublime in such a short time as the visitors and so 5/2 is fair value that they can prevail.
The two areas where the game may be most decided are in the kicking of Morgan Parra and England’s performance at the line-out.
England were regularly driven back by Ireland at the line-out and in the hope of improving in this department, Dylan Hartley is back at hooker, while Courtney Lawes replaces James Haskell to boost options.
These are interesting inclusions, especially the dynamic Lawes, who will have the task of getting to Parra quickly to prevent him dictating the game.
Haskell’s ill discipline saw him banished to the sin bin against Ireland and on a somewhat rare start, Lawes will have to ensure that he is not over enthusiastic in the quest to win back possession.
If Lawes does, France could benefit from a collection of penalties and this would make Parra worthy of consideration at 1/1 to help himself to 11 points or more.
However, England’s run of form should see them home and it is worth noting that since the competition increased to six nations, their average winning margin over France in home fixtures is over 15 points.
England are 10/3 to win this giving up a 16-point start and there does look money to be made in the handicap markets.
An England victory by eight points or more appeals most at 1/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.