Last season was a hard-fought battle between Scottish Borders side Melrose and west coast side Ayr. They both open the upcoming season as the favorites to take the championship. As usual, Heriot’s poses a serious threat after winning in both 2015 and ‘16. And Currie and Glasgow are also among the frontrunners. There are also a few teams (mainly Hawick) who’ll be stuck at the bottom of the standings once again.
With the season just over a month away, be sure to check out our review of the best online sportsbooks so you’re ready come September.
Let’s take a closer look at the pre-season favorites. Here are the odds!
Odds to win the 2017-18 Scottish Premiership
Melrose finished the 2016-17 season in first place, dropping only two games and conceding far fewer points than any other team. They steamrolled their way through some of the top clubs, racking up a handful of stunning blowouts.
They barrelled their way through the playoffs, crushing the Currie Chieftains (42 – 15) in the semifinals. But they were stopped by Ayr in the finals. Their near-perfect season was disrupted by a single loss, but they were undeniably the strongest team in the league.
The defending champs finished last season in second place, four points short of the top spot. Their mid-season loss to Melrose ended up being the pre-playoff decider, allowing Melrose a four-point buffer that carried through to the end of the season.
Ayr rallied during the playoffs and redeemed themselves in the finals, defeating Melrose in a low-scoring 12-8 win.
After back-to-back wins in 2015 and ‘16, Heriot’s fell just short of making the playoffs last season. They had moments of brilliance throughout the season though, snapping up wins against top-table teams like Melrose and Currie Chieftains, but their overall record against the top teams was disappointing.
They’ll be looking to return to their 2015-16 form, when they swept the season and won the final.
Currie Chieftains: 19/1
The Chieftains have consistently made the playoffs in recent years, but don’t have too many championships to their name. They were fortunate to make the final four last season, leapfrogging Heriot’s for the final spot after racking up a bunch of bonus points.
They’ll be seeking just their third championship, and if they can make the playoffs, they’ll be in with a shot once again.
Glasgow Hawks: 19/1
Glasgow was the team to beat in the mid-2000’s, sweeping the premiership in 2004, ‘05, and ‘06. But they’ve fallen short every year since. They don’t have a great track record against the other top clubs, so it’s going to be a tough road ahead.
Hawick is the most successful team in Scottish Premiership history, but their glory years are well behind them. They avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, winning only five games and dropping twelve.
They were relegated for the first time in their history back in 2009 and only moved to the top division in the 2013-14 season. These days, the great Hawick RFC is just trying to survive.