After a tumultuous off-season that saw Hawthorn bid farewell to a couple of club champions, but at the same time welcome in some young-guns, the Hawks have been posted as a $13 chance with CrownBet to take out the 2017 Premiership.
The three-time premiers from 2013 to 2015 missed out on capturing a history making fourth flag in succession last year after being bundled out in the Semi Final by eventual premiers, the Western Bulldogs, and it was an Alistair Clarkson-instigated cleanout that led to the arrivals of Jaegar O'Meara and Tom Mitchell to the club.
Other new faces at Hawthorn include Ty Vickery and former Adelaide player, Ricky Henderson.
While Mitchell and O'Meara have the work ahead of them to match the deeds of the departed Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis in the middle of the ground, the Hawks look to be right in the hunt in 2017 and are sixth in the market for premiership betting, behind the likes of GWS, the Western Bulldogs, Sydney, Geelong and Adelaide.
In 2016 Hawthorn won 17 of their 22 regular season games and gained a reputation as the 'Houdini Hawks', stealing a number of matches with some clutch goals late in the piece.
However, their form tapered off in the last two months of the year when they won just two of their last six games. Isaac Smith failed to follow the 'Houdini' script, missing a regulation shot after the siren in the Qualifying Final against Geelong, before they were out-gunned by the enthusiastic Western Bulldogs in the Semi Finals.
Logic would suggest that the dominant side of the last five years is due for a fall but with Clarkson at the helm, they should not be underestimated. The four-time premiership coach has a habit of staying ahead of the game and it will be interesting to see how they fare with their new look list.
They face a relatively kind draw in the first nine weeks of the season, with just three games against finalists from 2016, while they have also been bolstered by the all-clear given to Jarryd Roughead, who missed last season due to melanoma.
'Roughie' as he is affectionately known, was recently named as captain for the 2017 and his presence in the Hawks forward line will be a great sight for fans of the brown and gold, as well as footy fans in general. Roughead won the Coleman Medal in 2013 and has been posted at odds of $21 to achieve the same feat in 2017.
In Brownlow Medal betting, Tom Mitchell is a $51 chance with sportsbet, while in the Rising Star category, Ryan Burton is the Hawks leading hope at odds of $17.
Hawthorn: A snapshot
2016 position: 5th
2017 Fixture- Difficulty rating = 8/10
Off season movements
ARRIVALS: Harry Morrison, Mitchell Lewis, Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast), Tom Mitchell (Sydney), Ricky Henderson (Adelaide), Ty Vickey (Richmond)
DEPARTURES: Angus Litherland, Matt Spangher, Alex Woodward, Bradley Hill (Fremantle), Jordan Lewis (Melbourne), Sam Mitchell (West Coast)
Key Betting odds
Premiership: $13 CrownBet
Top 4: $3 CrownBet
Top 8: $1.60 CrownBet
Coleman Medal: Jarryd Roughead $21 bet365
Brownlow: Tom Mitchell $51 sportsbet
Rising Star: Ryan Burton $17 CrownBet
Forget any suggestion that the Hawks will suffer a spectacular crash out of contention. The $1.60 for the brown and gold to make the finals looks to be money for jam.