On Thursday night, viewers and fans are up for a spectacle between two teams on opposite ends of their conferences. The shining Cavs (29-20) visit the ailing Rockets (11-36) at the Toyota Center, in Houston, Texas.  Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Cavaliers-Rockets prediction and pick.

After snapping their 13-game losing streak with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Rockets are again on a losing roll after giving up a 19-point lead, leading to a 108-103 loss versus the Washington Wizards. The Rockets hold the worst record of any team this season, clinching just 11 wins. They also rank at the bedrock of the Western Conference and Southwest Division.

The Cavaliers also carry a fresh loss in their recent match-up with the Knicks. Cleveland is yet to find some consistency since the turn of the calendar. With Ricky Rubio and Dean Wade back in the mix, the Cavs hope to make momentum with their revitalized squad.

This is the first of two matchups for both young squads this year. Both teams secured double-digit wins at their homecourt when they played the previous season.

Here are the Cavaliers-Rockets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Cavaliers-Rockets Odds

Cleveland Cavaliers: -8.5 (-110)

Houston Rockets: +8.5 (-110)

Over: 221.5 (-110)

Under: 221.5 (-110)

How To Watch Cavaliers vs. Rockets

TV: Bally Sports Ohio, AT & T SportsNet Southwest

Stream: NBA League Pass

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Time: 8:10 PM ET / 5:10 PM PT

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Why The Cavaliers Could Cover The Spread

Cleveland is struggling to find some rhythm when playing on the road, as they only hold a 9-15 away record. Although they sit at 26th on offense at 111.5 points put up every night, the Cavaliers hold one of the best defenses in the league, posting a 110.5 defensive rating and +4.4 point differential across 49 games. On average, the Cavs hold enemy shooters to a 46.6% field goal percentage and 37.2% from the three-point line.

Coming into this matchup, Cleveland aiming to avenge their close game losses in the last five games. They had a two-point defeat at New York, a six-point loss versus the Golden State Warriors, and a two-point loss versus the Memphis Grizzlies courtesy of a Steven Adams game-winning tip. Donovan Mitchell (who is questionable tonight) is expected to bear the scoring load for the Cavs, as the recently-acquired guard from trade with Utah is posting up All-Star numbers of 28.3 points, four rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 steals on 48% field-goal shooting. Fellow backcourt guard Darius Garland also shines in Cleveland’s astounding season, contributing 21.7 points, eight assists, and 1.2 steals on 45% shooting from the field. Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Caris LeVert continue to post double-digit points for the Cavs as well.

The Cavaliers look to get their first win against Houston and earn the league double. Their last win over the Rockets came in December 2021, where 13 Cavaliers suited up for the 124-89 victory. The keys for the Cavaliers to secure this win are an all-around contribution from starters and bench players, lessening their turnovers, and hunting for chances in the charity stripe. The Garland-Mitchell-Isaac Okoro-Mobley-Allen starting five should continue their production. With Ricky Rubio back in the bench backcourt, he should be able to orchestrate the second squad, comprised of LeVert, Dean Wade, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, and Lamar Stevens.

Why The Rockets Could Cover The Spread

Stephen Silas’ squad is still finding some rhythm and gameplay as the Houston Rockets are still expected to make a tanking season and rebuild along this young roster.

If there are some positive aspects in the Rockets’ team display, it is with the way they get to the line and secure some boards. The Rockets rank fourth in rebounding with 46.8 boards per game, as well as 25.3 free-throw attempts per contest.

The Rockets also have four young starters that they can rely on. Before getting sidelined for his injury,  Kevin Porter Jr. has been posting up 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds,  5.6 assists, and 1.3 steals for the Rockets. Sophomore Jalen Green has been heating up for the past games without KPJ, and throughout the season he has been producing 22 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Alperen Sengun has also been putting an exhibit night in, night out. Al-P is scoring 15.5 points per game, while also having nine boards, 3.5 assists, and one block per game. it’s no surprise that he plays well this season, as he has been drawing comparisons with Nikola Jokic. Sengun has also made 16 double-doubles and two triple-doubles for Clutch City.

The keys to the game for the Rockets is to secure the boards, make their free-throw attempts, and play along with Sengun. KJ Martin, Garrison Mathews, and Tari Eason are also huge off the bench, so they better make the most of their minutes as well.

Final Cavaliers-Rockets Prediction & Pick

The Rockets are showing signs of promise, but the Cavs’ firepower might just be too much for them. Allen and Mobley can match up and slow down Sengun on the post. Ride with the visitors here.

Final Cavaliers-Rockets Prediction & Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -8.5 (-110)