Rockets vs. Heat NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, Jan. 8 (Bet on Miami)

The Rockets have not been able to win on the road this season and the Miami Heat are still a dangerous team with Jimmy Butler sidelined.
Jan 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) shoots against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jan 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) shoots against the Los Angeles Clippers. / Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

After losing three straight, Houston built some momentum, winning three of four to finish a seven-game homestand. 

The Rockets will now visit the Miami Heat, which will be without superstar Jimmy Butler, who will miss his fourth consecutive game and eighth of the last nine with an ankle injury. Miami, which sits eighth in the Eastern Conference, is coming off a five-game West Coast road trip, which wrapped up in a 113-97 loss at Phoenix on Friday. 

Will Houston build off its solid recent play or will Miami get back on track in its first home game in two weeks? 

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Rockets vs. Heat odds, spread and total

Rockets vs. Heat how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 8
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Kaseya Center
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Sun
  • Houston Rockets record: 18-16
  • Miami Heat record: 20-15

Rockets vs. Heat injury reports

Houston Rockets injury report

  • Tari Eason (lower leg): out
  • Dillon Brooks (oblique): out

Miami Heat injury report

  • Jimmy Butler (foot): out
  • Caleb Martin (ankle): doubtful
  • Kyle Lowry (illness): probable 

Rockets vs. Heat key players to watch

Houston Rockets

Alperen Sengun: The former first-round pick’s career year continued when the calendar flipped, shooting 51.5% from the field and averaging 24 points per game so far this month to lead Houston to a 3-1 record to finish the seven-game homestand. In the Rockets’ 112-108 win over the Bucks on Saturday, Sengun recorded his fourth double-double in the last nine games with 21 points and 11 rebounds. 

Miami Heat

Jaime Jaquez Jr.: The 18th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft has come alive after a slow start to the season. Jaquez has scored in double figures in 20 of the last 22 games, keeping a lethal Miami lineup threatening with Butler sidelined. Jaquez gives the Heat another complimentary scorer, which could be needed against a Houston squad built on defense. 

Rockets vs. Heat prediction and pick

After back-to-back 60-loss seasons, better times are on the horizon for Houston under first-year head coach Ime Udoka. The Rockets are still learning to win on the road, though. Houston is 15-5 at home this season, but are just 3-10 away from Toyota Center. Houston is 5-6-1 as a road underdog this year.

Sengun has continued to look like the focal point to Houston’s rebuild, but he’ll have a tough task tonight on the road against Miami center Bam Adebayo, a four-time NBA All-Defensive second-team selection who is coming off his 16th double-double of the season. 

Houston’s defense has been the key to its turnaround, but that hasn’t traveled, either. The Rockets are fifth in the NBA in defensive rating, but that ranking drops to the 20th on the road. Houston has been key in limiting perimeter opportunities, but the Heat are second in the league in 3-point shooting (38.4%) and with a plethora of scoring threats and a one-day rest advantage, they’re the pick.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.