Rockets vs. Pistons Pick
Who Oddsmakers Like: According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Rockets are a 5.5-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 211 points. Houston opened as a 6-point fave, while the total has dropped after opening at 216 points.
Who the Public Likes: As of Saturday morning, 51 percent of public bets are siding with the host Pistons.
Injury Report: Rockets center Chinanu Onuaku missed the last game with an illness and is questionable today. Nene will be out again with a knee contusion. Luc Mbah a Moute is out until mid-January with a dislocated shoulder. And most importantly, James Harden will be out at least another 10 days with a hamstring strain. For Detroit, Stanley Johnson has missed two straight games with a sore hip and is questionable for today's game. Reggie Jackson is out until mid-February with an ankle strain. Jon Leuer is out until mid-January with a sprained ankle.
Who the Trends Like: Houston is 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings. The over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Detroit. Houston is 0-4 ATS in its last four games against teams with a winning straight up record.
Who We Like: Houston has already played two games without Harden, winning 116-98 at the Magic before losing 124-114 at home versus the Warriors. Losses against Golden State can usually be forgiven. Playing a Detroit team on a back-to-back after a blowout loss at Philadelphia, I like the Rockets to cover here. Chris Paul is a steady hand taking the full reins at point guard, while Eric Gordon is stepping up in a big way offensively to help fill the void of Harden.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: HOUSTON ROCKETS -5.5