With Week 6 of the NFL season upon us, we thought it was time to give you faithful Insiders another tool to use while making your picks every week. And so we present to you the NFL Sweat Barometer.
For a more detailed explanation of what the Sweat Barometer is -- and what you'll see every week in the chart below -- check out the box to the right. The Cliff Notes version: The NFL Sweat Barometer measures the margin by which teams cover -- or don't cover -- the spread each week. In other words, it shows which teams seem not to be getting enough respect thus far from the oddsmakers and which ones have made bettors sweat.
Speaking of sweat, there isn't a city oozing as much anxiety as Philadelphia right now. The Phillies were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round and they're only the second-most popular team to bash right now in Philly, as the 1-4 Philadelphia Eagles have become the verbal punching bag of the city. Not only is the "Dream Team" 1-4 straight up, and against the spread (with their lone win coming against the lowly St. Louis Rams), but the Eagles have a Sweat Barometer number of minus-6.8 -- fifth worst in the league. In fact, excluding that Week 1 dusting of the Rams, the Eagles have lost four straight games SU and ATS, with a SB number of minus-12.125.
Yet this week against the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins, a 3-1 team that is at home and coming off of a bye, the majority of the bets are still on the Eagles (76 percent), helping move the original pick 'em line to as high as minus-1.5 for Philly at some sportsbooks.
Perhaps bettors still remember Michael Vick's six-touchdown performance last year in Washington, or perhaps they think that this is the week the Eagles finally break out of their funk.
Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton believes it's the latter. "Even though the general public hasn't supported the Eagles over the last couple of weeks compared to the start of the season, most know they're still a very talented team," Kornegay said. "The Eagles are not getting beat up. They are self-destructing and that can be fixed. On the flip side of it, the Redskins are not perceived as a talented team. They are looked at as an overachiever."
Regardless of your feelings on the game, we'll offer three tidbits to keep in mind:
1. Mike Shanahan is 10-5 SU in his career coming off of bye weeks.
2. The Redskins, whether you believe in them or not, have a SB number of plus-4.38, seventh best in the league.
3. According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles have the 31st-ranked rush defense, while the Redskins are second in overall time of possession.
Without further ado, here's the Week 6 NFL Sweat Barometer:
To see the full Week 6 Sweat Barometer, you must be an ESPN Insider.