There is a very interesting NBA betting prop for the upcoming season: Which state will the 2015 NBA champion come from? That should be a prop for all four major team sports in my opinion! Let's examine the NBA odds.
Texas: +400 on NBA Odds
Of course you have the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, and it's much easier to repeat in the NBA than the NFL, NHL or in Major League Baseball. The Spurs also have the motivation of knowing this is probably the last hurrah. There's likely zero chance that future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan plays after this season. Manu Ginobili might hang it up as well. San Antonio is the +400 second favorite at the site's NBA odds to win the title again.
Houston is +2500 and, in case you don't know your geography, also a part of Texas. The Rockets will still be a good team with James Harden (even though he may be the worst defensive player in the NBA) and Dwight Howard. However, the Rockets gave away guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik, two solid bench pieces and occasional starters, to clear up enough room to land Chris Bosh and then re-sign Chandler Parsons. Houston did neither, with Bosh at the last minute accepting a monster offer from Miami and the Rockets opting not to match the Mavericks' offer for Parsons. Puzzling. Houston did rally and get Trevor Ariza, but this team isn't as good as last year's on paper.
Dallas (+3000) looks improved in adding Parsons and trading for Tyson Chandler (and Raymond Felton) from the Knicks. The Mavs re-signed Dirk Nowitzki at way below market value. However, Chandler has been very injury prone the past two years. Dirk is 36 and he's going to start slowing down. This is still the third-best team in the Lone Star State.
California: +800 on NBA Odds
We will go ahead and say that the Los Angeles Lakers (+10000) and Sacramento Kings (+30000) have no shot to win the NBA title. The Kings should be better, but the Lakers look terrible. They have a better shot at landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft than sneaking into the playoffs with castoffs like Lin, Nick Young and Carlos Boozer around Kobe Bryant and a way-past-his-prime Steve Nash.
This prop is obviously based on the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. The Warriors (+3000) better hope that guard Klay Thompson plays like an All-Star for the next several years because they gave up a chance at Kevin Love as Golden State didn't want to give up Thompson in a trade for Love. That was a mistake. The Clippers (+1100) had a great offseason simply by being sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. You can sense an entirely new attitude around the team with Donald Sterling banished. L.A. lost versatile guard Darren Collison, and he will be missed if/when Chris Paul gets hurt. The team added guard Jordan Farmar and very solid backup big man Spencer Hawes. It's a deep group.
New York: +2500 on NBA Odds
Why is this state even a prop? The Knicks (+6000) were able to keep Carmelo Anthony, but what has he ever accomplished in the playoffs? New York did upgrade at point guard by trading Felton and Chandler to Dallas and getting back guard Jose Calderon as well as big man Samuel Dalembert (Chandler Lite) in return. But this isn't close to a title team. We also don't know if Derek Fisher can coach or if Phil Jackson can run a franchise.
The Nets (+7000) and their frightening payroll were built for last season and came up short in the conference semifinals vs. the Heat. They still have some terrible contracts, notably those of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett. Center Brook Lopez returns from injury, but Paul Pierce and underrated Shaun Livingston have moved on. So has Coach Jason Kidd after losing a power struggle in the front office.
Florida: +4000 on NBA Odds
Unless a team moved to the Sunshine State this offseason that I am unaware of, we are looking at the Miami Heat (+6000) and Orlando Magic (+20000). Miami rallied about as well as possible in losing LeBron James as the Heat were able to keep Bosh and sign free agent Luol Deng. It should be a playoff team. The Magic will be back in the lottery without question.
All Other States: -300 on NBA Odds
I'm stunned this isn't a bigger favorite. After all, you get Cleveland (+300), Oklahoma City (+650), Chicago (+850) and rising clubs like Washington (+4000) and Portland (+4500).
Free NBA picks: Go big on the All Other States. For your NBA picks you are almost guaranteed that either the Cavs or Bulls will be in the Finals from the East, and it could well be vs. the Thunder.