After the last minute cancellation of their round two match against France, the Irish are desperate to get on to the pitch and score some points. Their defeat to Wales was a long time ago now but they've been sitting around stewing about it ever since. The Six Nations is all about momentum and, when you're pumped up to play, the last thing you need is to be thwarted by the weather.
Ireland will be pleased to be back at the Aviva Stadium and a match against wooden spoon favourites Italy might be just what they need to get the campaign started.
I like the Auzzurri under Jacques Brunel, they look potent in attack and I was impressed by their initiative early on against England. However, Stuart Lancaster's side were there for the taking in Rome and, if Italy couldn't beat the Red Rose there, bettors are probably right to rate them big outsiders in Dublin.
I said last time out that Ireland love to bounce back. They would have been up against it to return to wining ways in Paris but Saturday's home tie offers them the chance to rediscover their groove and put significant points on the board.
They beat Italy by a significant margin at the World Cup and, if they play to their potential, the Irish can do so again here. If they want to turn the Parisian debacle into a positive, they will see their rescheduled match against France as a game in hand over their Six Nations rivals.
2pts Back Ireland @ 1.59 to win by over 12.5 points
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