The disparity of the Six Nations is highlighted no where more clearly than with the Irish fixture schedule - this year they are playing three away games and only two games at home.
If that wasn't bad enough the two home games are against two of the strongest teams in the competition - England and France.
For that reason I don't see Ireland upsetting the apple cart and winning the tournament. But I do think they will beat Wales on Saturday to get off to a great start.
Wales are the 8/13 favourites for this game and with home advantage it is a brave man who bets against them but since winning the Grand Slam last year and being immediately installed as favourites to win back to back trophys their form has slid into oblivion and they will be sorely lacking confidence.
Wales have lost their last seven games on the trot - being whitewashed in the Autumn series but they have won their last three games against Ireland so you would expect this game to be pretty close.
The problem for betting punters is that the first weekend of the six nations is always a lottery with no very recent form to guide you and so you are pretty much working blind from the off.
I'm going to back Ireland purely on a hunch - Irish eyes are smiling, they are singing in the valleys - oh stop please!
Ireland need to stop Wales recycling the ball quickly and feeding ball carriers - which they are very good at doing. Also Irealnd have Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien returning from injury which strengthens their squad immeasurably.