Pistons vs. Nuggets NBA expert prediction and odds for Sunday, Jan. 7 (Lay points with Denver)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Denver Nuggets' matchup with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are looking to protect home court in what should be a lopsided matchup against the three-win Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

The Pistons are looking a little better from a betting perspective, covering the spread in five of their last six games, but does that carry into the altitude in Denver against the defending champs?

Oddsmakers have set this spread at Nuggets -16.5 – and it’s hard to blame them given how bad the Pistons have been in the 2023-24 campaign. 

Let’s break down the odds, injuries and more to make a best bet for this Sunday night matchup. 

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Pistons vs. Nuggets odds, spread and total 

Pistons vs. Nuggets how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 7
  • Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Ball Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Detroit, Altitude
  • Pistons Record: 3-32
  • Nuggets Record: 25-12

Pistons vs. Nuggets injury reports

Detroit Pistons injury report

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

Denver Nuggets injury report

  • Jalen Pickett – out
  • Hunter Tyson – out
  • Vlatko Cancar – out
  • Julian Strawther – out

Pistons vs. Nuggets key players to watch

Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham: The former No. 1 overall pick may be the only bright spot for Detroit this season, and he comes into this game with five 30-point or better performances in his last six contests. On the season, Cunningham is averaging 23.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game. 

Denver Nuggets

Jamal Murray: Since Dec. 18, Murray has scored 20 or more points in all but one game, and he’s nearing 20 points per game on the season (19.9). The former lottery pick missed some time due to injury, but bettors can start taking him in the prop market again as he appears to be rounding into his usual form. 

Pistons vs. Nuggets prediction and pick

This may seem like a lot of points to lay with Denver, but the team is one of the best home teams in the NBA this season. 

The Nuggets are 14-4 straight up at home, and they are 9-8-1 against the spread as home favorites, winning those games by nearly 10 points per game. 

Asking a team to win by 17 or more may be a lot, but Denver was in this spot recently against the Charlotte Hornets and came away with an 18-point win at home. 

Detroit is just 5-4 ATS as a double-digit underdog this season, and I question how the team deals with the high-powered offense of the defending champs. 

Denver has a home net rating of +10.0 points per 100 possessions (No. 2 in the NBA) while the Pistons are No. 29 in the NBA in road net rating at -12.6 points per 100 possessions. 

Sometimes, the obvious bet is the right one. Give me Denver on Sunday. 

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.