Week 9 college football best bets: Michigan's defense too much for Michigan State?

Michigan's stout defense has been stifling opponents all season. Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

Intro by Doug Kezirian

A top-10 rivalry game headlines this week's college football card. However, No. 6 Michigan visiting No. 8 Michigan State is also a matchup of schools that public bettors have successfully backed basically the entire season. They are a combined 11-2 ATS against FBS opponents.

"I think we're used to Michigan being very disappointing during the [Jim] Harbaugh years. Michigan State during the [Mark] Dantonio years have always been above expectations. This year, they've both garnered pretty good public support," South Point casino sportsbook director Chris Andrews told ESPN. "This might be the highest ticket count of the week. The money is pretty evenly split."

The Wolverines and Spartans are tied with No. 5 Ohio State atop the Big Ten East standings with a 4-0 conference record. All three still have to play each other and could create a wild race for a berth in the Big Ten championship game.

Ohio State is a -240 favorite to win the conference and rival Michigan is +550, while Sparty is still a 20-1 long shot. From the West Division, Iowa is 10-1 and Wisconsin 12-1. The Badgers host the Hawkeyes on Saturday as 3.5-point favorites.