Pistons vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, Jan. 1 (Houston thrives at home)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Houston Rockets' home matchup with the Detroit Pistons on New Year's Day.
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green.
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green. / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are looking to snap a three-game losing streak, and they have quite a favorable matchup on Monday. 

Fresh off of their third win of the season, the Detroit Pistons and Cade Cunningham come to Houston as nine-point underdogs on New Year’s Day. 

While Detroit did beat the shorthanded Toronto Raptors in its last game, the team is still the worst in the NBA at this point in the season. 

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Should bettors trust the Rockets to get a much-needed home win?  

Pistons vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Pistons vs. Rockets how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 1
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Detroit, AT&T SportsNet Southwest
  • Pistons Record: 3-29
  • Rockets Record: 15-15

Pistons vs. Rockets injury reports

Pistons injury report

  • Monte Morris – out
  • Isaiah Stewart – out
  • Stanley Umude – out
  • Malcolm Cazalon – out
  • Jared Rhoden – out

Rockets injury report

  • Dillon Brooks – out
  • Tari Eason – questionable
  • Nate Hinton – out
  • Victor Oladipo – out
  • Jermaine Samuels Jr. – out
  • Nate Williams – out
  • Jabari Smith Jr. – questionable

Pistons vs. Rockets key players to watch

Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham: The Pistons may be bad, but Cade Cunningham has been terrific. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cunningham has bumped his season averages up to 23.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He’s scored 30 or more points in three straight. 

Houston Rockets

Jalen Green: The No. 2 overall pick (right behind Cunningham) in the 2021 NBA Draft, Green has struggled at times this season, losing fourth-quarter minutes in Ime Udoka’s rotation. However, Green rebounded nicely to close out 2023, scoring 23 points against the Phoenix Suns before dropping a season-high 31 against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Could he get back to his usual scoring ways in 2024?

Pistons vs. Rockets prediction and pick

While the Pistons are coming off a win, I can’t back the team on the road here – especially against one of the best defenses in the NBA. 

The Rockets come into this game ranking sixth in the NBA in defensive rating, and they should make things tough on a Detroit team that is just 28th in offensive rating. 

While Cunningham is a matchup problem with Brooks out, I still don’t trust the rest of this Detroit supporting cast. 

Despite being set as massive underdogs for most of the season, the Pistons are 7-9 ATS as road dogs and are losing those games by an average margin of more than 13 points per contest. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets are 5-2-1 ATS as home favorites with an average margin of victory of 8.6 points per game. 

Ultimately, I think Houston’s defense is the difference in the game, as the Pistons lack consistent scoring after Cunningham this season. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.