Texas NBA Landscape
No matter if you're just a general basketball fan or you closely follow one of the Texas NBA teams, there's plenty to pay attention to in the Lone Star State. Among US states, Texas is home to the second-most NBA teams, only behind the four that reside in California.
With that comes a rich basketball history, as the three teams have combined to bring eight NBA Finals trophies to the state along with some of the most iconic players of all time. From guys like David Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Tim Duncan to Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden, and Jason Kidd, the state has seen a lot of good basketball throughout the years.
Texas NBA Season Outlook
The Dallas Mavericks are the clear contender of the three NBA Texas teams and currently sit atop the Southwest division. Luka Dončić has been playing at an incredible level and now has Kyrie Irving back on the court with him. The Houston Rockets won just 22 games last year and have already surpassed that total, as the team is buying into Ime Udoka's coaching. Lastly, the San Antonio Spurs are nowhere near contention but will start building around one of the most hyped prospects in Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs will look to have themselves in contention for another high lottery pick in 2024.
Betting On The NBA In Texas
Despite Texas NBA betting not being legal, paying attention to odds and betting markets can give you an idea of the expectations for each team. Familiarizing yourself with the types of bets you can place will also help you feel more comfortable placing wagers once sports betting in the state becomes a reality.
Championship odds are exactly what they sound like. This market gives odds for each team to win the current season's NBA Championship. You can start placing bets on NBA Finals odds as early as June or July and throughout the postseason. These odds tend to fluctuate wildly during the season and will vary across operators, so it's always a good idea to check out multiple Texas betting apps to make sure you're getting the best odds.
Regular Season Odds
When it comes to futures markets, the most popular regular season betting option is wagering on a team's win total. Sportsbooks will set a number of total wins for each team for the season and then you can bet on whether a certain team will have more or fewer wins than the betting line.
The Spurs' win total, for example, was set at 29.5 on FanDuel Texas Sportsbook. Only three other teams had a lower win total at the start of the 2023 NBA season.
Depth Chart & Lineups
The only betting market directly tied to depth charts and lineups is the NBA's "Sixth Man" Award. Whenever you're placing bets on a single game, however, it's crucial to know a team's depth chart in the event of an injury or everyone's favorite - "load management".
In addition to betting on a team's finals odds or win totals, you can also make wagers on whether or not a team makes the playoffs. Not only can you wager on your favorite team to make the playoffs, but you can also place bets on other teams to miss the playoffs.
Although the Mavericks only have one NBA Championship to their name, the team has consistently made the playoffs for the past 20 years. In fact, going all the way back to the 2000-2001 season, there have only been five times the Mavs have not made the playoffs.
Star player Luka Dončić will look to help start a new streak this year after missing the playoffs last year, and the team is off to a strong start. The Mavs lead the Southwest division and are third overall in the West as of mid-December.
Mavericks Championship Odds
The Mavericks' Championship odds place them among the top ten teams in the league with the shortest odds. Although they are much better off than a lot of teams, they are far from betting favorites. Dončić will do his best to keep putting the team on his back, but getting Kyrie Irving back from injury would be a huge boost and would almost surely shorten their odds.
According to FanDuel, the Mavs' win total currently sits at 46.5 which would represent an 8-win improvement compared to where they finished last year. Dallas is also in striking distance of the Southwest at +190, just behind the New Orleans Pelicans at -260. All in all, the Mavericks' odds place them as playoff contenders.
Mavericks Depth Chart & Lineup
Dallas' front office did a great job of plugging holes in the Mavericks' depth chart this offseason and that has paid dividends so far as the team has dealt with a rash of injuries early on. If they can get their starting players back into their rotation in time for a playoff run, this team could be dangerous.
Mavericks Playoff Chances
The Mavericks' playoff chances look to be a safe bet in mid-December, as they carry odds of -260 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Converted into an implied probability, this gives the Mavs a 72% chance to make the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs
The days of the San Antonio Spurs dynasty seem like a distant memory as the franchise has gone four straight seasons without a playoff appearance and is likely destined for a fifth straight. In terms of playoff success, the Spurs haven't advanced past the first round since the 2016-2017 season.
It's not all doom and gloom, however, as the Spurs won the Wembanyama lottery this past summer, locking in what many are considering to be a generational talent and the most hyped prospect since LeBron James.
San Antonio Spurs Championship Odds
I'm not one to tell people how to spend their money, but if you're betting on the Spurs' Championship odds this season, you might as well take that money and flush it down the toilet. Better days are certainly ahead for the franchise that has a knack for uncovering and developing talent, but their finals odds are the longest across the league.
San Antonio Spurs Odds
The Spurs' season started out with low expectations with just a 29.5 opening win total, and those expectations have dropped even further. As of early February, FanDuel has the Spurs 2023 season win total at a mere 17.5.
San Antonio Spurs Depth Chart & Lineup
If it hasn't become obvious yet, the Spurs depth chart is highlighted by Victor Wembanyama who leads a very young group of ball players. If this group of players consisting of guys like Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson can continue to grow together, the future could be bright in San Antonio.
San Antonio Spurs Playoff Chances
Similar to their finals odds, the Spurs' playoff chances are more or less nonexistent. Their chances are so minuscule that you can't find playoff markets for the Spurs on FanDuel or DraftKings Texas Sportsbook.
Although Rockets fans enjoyed a stretch of 8-straight postseason appearances from 2013-2020, the team has dropped off significantly and has also dealt with the James Harden drama. Heading into this season, Houston has only won 59 of a possible 177 games across three seasons.
Things are looking up this season under new head coach Ime Udoka, however, as the Rockets are third in the Southwest and positioning themselves as one of the final seeds in the Western playoff race.
Houston Rockets Championship Odds
Although the team's improvement this year is undeniable, the roster isn't strong enough to warrant finals consideration as the Rockets Championship odds are better than just nine other teams across the league.
Houston has been one of the teams that is overperforming their preseason expectations by a wide margin. The Rockets' win total opened at 31.5 prior to the start of the regular season and that has since jumped to 37.5 on FanDuel.
Rockets Depth Chart & Lineup
The team saw a major shakeup to its roster with names like Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks added to the Rockets' starting lineup, with VanVleet signing a massive contract. Alperen Sengun has taken a huge step forward in his development which has been key for this team early on.
Rockets Playoff Chances
According to FanDuel, Houston has odds of +140 to make the playoffs. This means the Rockets' playoff chances are just below 42% via implied probability. Houston will need to figure out a way to win on the road if they really want to make a postseason push, but the early season improvements can't be discounted.
Bet on the NBA In Texas
Betting on the NBA is not legal in Texas and likely won't be until late 2025 at the very earliest. Although situations can change in the blink of an eye, NBA betting will likely be incredibly popular when the time comes. With names like Doncic and Wembanyama, the Texas basketball scene appears to be in good hands for years to come.
Texas NBA FAQs
No, NBA betting is not legal in Texas. Despite strong momentum and a sports betting bill passing the House in early 2023, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick completely shut down the issue before it was brought to the Senate.
Although there is no set timeline for when betting on the NBA will be legal in Texas, the earliest possible chance would be in 2025 when the Texas Legislature meets again. Even if a sports betting bill passes, it is more likely it won't launch until 2026.
Texas has three NBA teams - the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets. The Rockets have been in Texas the longest, with the Spurs relocating in the 70s and the Mavericks becoming an expansion team in the early 80s.
Staff writers for BetTexas.com.