Rockets Favored on NBA Odds, But…
Is it wise to lay eight points on a team that has struggled to cover or even win on the road? The Houston Rockets are moderate favorites against the consistently bad Detroit Pistons. Houston is just 3-12 on the road and 6-8-1 against the spread (ATS). But Detroit has lost 16 of its last 17 home NBA games. But as we examine recent trends, this Rockets vs Pistons court rivalry could make betting tricky.
Was Dillon Brooks the Rockets’ MVP?
What’s gone wrong with Houston? The Rockets are just 3-5 ATS in their last eight games and have fallen to a .500 record on the NBA standings. It seems their struggles have coincided with the absence of Dillon Brooks. Don’t look now, but Houston has not been the same team since “Dillon the Villain” got sidelined. The team’s defensive rating has deteriorated.
With Brooks, the Rockets had the second-best defensive rating at 109.9. Their net rating was +3.1, and the team was 15-13. Without Brooks, Houston’s defense has declined to 116.5 (19th overall) with a -2.0 net rating.
For all his antics, Brooks sets the tone for his team. He plays relentless and hard-nosed defense. And he also occupies the opponents with his “colorful” antics. Without him, Houston has lost some edge. And this team is tough to back, given the “Rockets vs Pistons court rivalry.”
Detroit is the worst NBA team. But the Pistons have covered in nine of their last 13 games against Houston. The Rockets won their previous four meetings, though two came within six points. Detroit is also 6-2 ATS in the last eight games it faced Houston as the underdog.
Joining Brooks on the injury list is forward Tari Eason. The sophomore has logged nearly 22 minutes per game with averages of 9.8 points and seven boards. The loss of Brooks and Eason may make it trickier for Houston to defend against the rather large Pistons team.
Still, Houston is the better team here, given Detroit’s penchant for losing games. The total of 229 points is also moderate, given the iffy nature of these teams’ offenses. However, six of Houston’s eight games without Brooks have gone over their totals.
Pistons Always Find Ways To Lose
Not only is Detroit a terrible team, but it could get worse with star guard Cade Cunningham now out indefinitely. The third-year player leads the team in scoring (22.8 points) and assists (7.3). He joins guard Monte Morris and power forward Isaiah Stewart among Detroit’s NBA injuries. That’s some production from a team starving for it.
The Pistons snapped its historic 28-game losing skid with a 129-127 win over Toronto. Then, it proceeded to lose six more games. Detroit went 2-4 ATS in this span. Naturally, the sportsbook saddles Detroit with as many points as it can allow. But the Pistons still find ways to blow it.
Detroit is just 9-11-1 ATS when spotted eight or more points. And at home, Detroit is just 5-9-1 ATS as an underdog. No matter how we cut it, the Pistons are just hard to trust. They’ve trended well against Houston. But plenty of their ATS wins came against Houston when it was one of the four worst teams in the league.
Houston is slumping right now. But it is much better under new head coach Ime Udoka. As such, this Rockets vs Pistons court rivalry may be anything but. Houston may just go to Detroit and blow it out.
For betting purposes, it may be best for bettors to wait for Houston’s line if it starts slow. Detroit chokes its games away in the second half: a -14.6 net rating compared to -5.2 in the first. Whatever the case, we’re not touting Detroit.