The Houston Rockets travel to Michigan today to face off with the Detroit Pistons. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Rockets-Pistons prediction as we go for our fifth straight correct pick.
The Rockets hold a record of 6-9 both overall and against the spread. Houston is coming off a loss to the Phoenix Suns.
The Pistons stand at 3-11 overall, but they hold a record of 7-6-1 against the spread. In Detroit’s most recent game, they fell to the Atlanta Hawks in overtime.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Rockets-Pistons odds.
NBA Odds: Rockets-Pistons Odds
Houston Rockets +2.5 (-110)
Detroit Pistons -2.5 (-110)
Over 214.5 Points (-112)
Under 214.5 Points (-108)
Why The Rockets Could Cover The Spread
While the Rockets are 0-3 in their last three matchups, they have kept each game close.
The Rockets have shown fight, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump. Against a team that is also struggling, this game could come down to the wire as well.
Without Christian Wood, Houston will rely on Victor Oladipo to lead the offense and turn this game into a track meet.
The biggest Detroit weakness is their defense. Opponents shoot the second-highest field-goal percentage in the league against the Pistons, and Detroit has given up the sixth most three-pointers in the NBA.
Houston badly needs some of their role players to step up here. Oladipo will push the pace and find open shooters. The question is, can guys like Ben McLemore and PJ Tucker knock them down?
The Rockets can’t allow Detroit to settle in and play at a leisurely pace, or they’ll be pushed out of the game.
Why The Pistons Could Cover The Spread
Against an undersized Rockets team, Detroit will look to pound the basketball in the paint and get plenty of easy buckets.
Houston has struggled on the defensive boards all season, allowing the fifth most offensive rebounds in the league.
With Christian Wood out, this weakness will be magnified. DeMarcus Cousins is the only legitimate center on the roster and he has only been playing 14 minutes per game. Detroit should terrorize the Rockets on the boards all night.
Rebounding isn’t the only area where the Rockets will miss Wood.
Since the Harden trade, the former Pistons big man has led the team in scoring, averaging 25.3 points per contest without the Beard.
For a Rockets offense that already struggles to get points on the board, Wood’s absence could be a critical blow.
Even if Houston does get the Pistons running, Detroit has forced the second most turnovers in the league. It won’t be easy for the Rockets to push the pace without getting sloppy.
Look for Detroit to set the pace and try to wear down a Rockets squad that hasn’t been able to get the job done lately.
Final Rockets-Pistons Prediction & Pick
Without their leading scorer, the Rockets will be handicapped offensively. I don’t see Houston’s role players stepping up enough to get the win tonight, and Detroit should hold serve on their home court. I’ll take the Pistons to cover the small spread and break their two-game losing streak.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: DET 118, HOU 111