If you’re an avid college basketball fan…you probably watched Oklahoma State fans storm the court after their upset of Kansas Saturday afternoon…and then you watched Arizona State fans storm the court after their upset of Arizona not long afterward. You half-expected Florida fans to be in that position against #1 Kentucky later in the day…but the Gators could only cover the spread on their way to a straight up loss.

Monday Night, it’s Florida State who’s in line to enjoy the next group hug…and they will surely bring peak attention and intensity to Monday Night’s nationally televised matchup with Duke. The Seminoles catch the Blue Devils in a letdown spot…as Duke exploded in a revenge win over Notre Dame early Saturday.

Great spot for the home dog…but do they really have the weapons to compete in what’s been a disappointing season? Let’s look for guidance in JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats…

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Duke: 120.3 per 100 possessions (#4 in the nation)
Florida State: 102.1 per 100 possessions (#159 in the nation)

We generally focus on marquee matchup here in the NOTEBOOK. Florida State is probably the worst team we’ve discussed this season. In a disappointing campaign, they’ve plummeted all the way down to #128 nationally in the respected computer ratings of college basketball guru Ken Pomeroy. So, it’s pretty clear they DON’T have the horses to win this game on command. They have to hope for a really bad game from the visitors. Hey, we’re talking about a program that lost in the Dance to Mercer and Lehigh in recent memory. Coach K does have lemons in him! But, you can see that FSU’s offense is so bad, they’re going to need a 40-minute slump from Duke. Covering the spread is a different story. Doing what it takes for their fans to storm the court? Probably not going to happen.

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Duke: 94.2 per 100 possessions (#50 in the nation)
Florida State: 98.8 per 100 possessions (#108 in the nation)

Duke’s weak spot is on this side of the floor. And it’s something that will likely cause them problems in March. In their rout of Notre Dame…they were playing a much worse defense! The bad news for FSU is that their defense ranks similarly to that of the Irish. How can FSU shut down the potent Duke attack with an offense that doesn’t even rank in the top 100?

Pace Ranking
Duke: #60
Florida State: #114

Things could get interesting here. Both teams like to push it. When Duke falls apart late in losses, things get away from them FAST. So, FSU has a chance to make a run in the same way Miami and NC State did a few weeks back. Hey…both of these teams are a game under .500 in the ACC standings along with FSU…so, maybe there’s hope! Less likely according to the computers, as NC State and Miami are Dance contenders, while FSU is not.

Against the Spread
Duke: 12-10-1 (13-8-1 to the Over)
Florida State: 10-11

We included the Over note for Duke because this game is expected to be played at a fast pace…and because we have vulnerable defenses on the floor for both teams. If Duke is flat off the ND win, that could reduce their defensive intensity even more. Something for handicappers to think about. Hard to see real ATS value at first glance on the team side because both teams are within arm’s reach of breakeven. Basically, Duke HAS to play flat for FSU to be a smart Las Vegas bet. Handicappers must determine how likely that is to occur.

JIM HURLEY will be working very closely with his ACC and Big 12 sources to determine the right way to attack Monday Night’s card. You can purchase the final word in the hours leading up to tipoff right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 during normal business hours. This is a great time to check in on our very affordable rates that take you through March Madness or the NBA Playoffs in June.  

Tonight begins a “six-conferences-in-six-days stretch here in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s what’s ahead this week…

Tuesday: College Basketball Preview…New Mexico at Colorado State in the M-West
Wednesday: College Basketball Preview…Villanova at Providence in the Big East
Thursday: College Basketball Preview…Stanford at Utah in the Pac 12
Friday: College Early Look…Ohio State at Michigan State in the Big 10
Saturday: College Basketball GameDay…Connecticut at SMU in the AAC
Sunday: NBA State of the League at the All-Star Break

Looks like our next Big Monday report will focus on Kansas/West Virginia. Though, given the Mountaineers embarrassing loss to Baylor this past Sunday…we may have to think about that a little longer! We’ll do what we can to make sure you’re up to speed in all the major Las Vegas betting conferences through the month of February.

It’s THE ROAD TO MARCH MADNESS…and you’re riding in the fast lane with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!


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