Scotland may be the 4/7 favourites for their Wooden Spoon showdown with Italy in Rome, but Andy Robinson’s men will have a tough time to get their much-needed first win in this year’s Six Nations.
For every moment Scotland looked to have moved forward during the championship, there were several that showed they are still very much a work in progress.
A good first half against Wales eventually meant nothing as 14-man Scotland were demolished in the opening minutes of the second, while their strong start against France saw them eventually succumb to a 23-17 defeat.
Meanwhile, the less said about their dreadful performance against Ireland last weekend – a defeat that condemned the Scots to their sixth successive defeat – the better.
They were horrible with the ball and, without the ball, their defence was absolutely shambolic.
Italy were rather more impressive in their last game and the 6/4 offered for them to win is undoubtedly a tempting proposition.
Italy were incredibly solid against Wales and it took a couple of brilliant moments from Wales’ Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert to open up the Azzurri.
They failed to create any real opportunities for themselves though and once the ball was tossed to the backs, their limitations became more than evident.
With Scotland winning just two of their last six games against the Italians in Rome, the hosts certainly shouldn’t be ruled out.
However, Scotland have shown enough so far to suggest they can come through and get a much-needed victory.
The Scots have failed to convert their periods of dominance into tries though so a low scoring game may be on the cards.
Backing there to be under 37.5 points scored in the game could be worth a punt at 5/6.