NBA: Detroit Pistons - Houston Rockets
- Title : NBA: Detroit Pistons - Houston Rockets
Detroit has picked up wins in 4 of their last 6 matchups against Rockets with their most recent being a 115-107 road win December of 2019. The Pistons have also won 3 of 4 at homeagainst Houston, including 2-straight victories. Detroit has not only won 5-straight against the spread in this series, but is 3-1 in their last 4 at Little Ceasers Arena.
The Rockets’ defense will take a step back with Wood out because DeMarcus Cousins is the only other center on the roster. The Rockets will have to choose between playing small or using Cousins at the five even though he doesn’t offer the same versatility or shot-blocking ability that Wood does.
After the Pistons let Christian Wood leave town as a free agent, he signed with the Rockets and has gone from averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 21.4 minutes per game last year to 23.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game this year. Unfortunately for basketball fans, Wood has been ruled out with an ankle injury, but Victor Oladipo will play in his third games for the Rockets after being acquired in the James Harden trade.
For Rockets to win or cover, they will need Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon to shoot accurately from the three-point line. With John Wall (knee), Danuel House Jr. (COVID-19 protocols), and Wood all out, Oladipo and Gordon will both have high usage tonight. Even with Wood healthy in the last two games (the only two in which Oladipo has played for the Rockets), Oladipo averaged 22.5 shot attempts per game and Gordon averaged 18.5 attempts with Wall out. They will need to be more efficient and shoot about 40% from three or better to give the shorthanded Rockets a chance with their defensive shortcomings.
I expect Pistons to win and cover at home behind the surging Grant. The Rockets haven’t had much time to develop continuity because of a myriad of injuries and new faces in different roles after the Harden trade, and they will likely need to shoot at a high rate from the three-point line to overcome these issues on both sides of the ball.
The Pistons are well-positioned to take advantage of the Rockets’ defensive weakness on the interior without Wood, and they have the shooters with Ellington and Grant to make the Rockets pay when left open on the perimeter. Take the Pistons to cover at -3,5 with value up to -5.5.
|Prediction||Detroit Pistons -3,5 Line - Including Overtime|
|Start Time||01:00 : 23-Jan-21|