I somehow missed this the other day, but our friend Vegas Watch broke down the preseason predictions of various experts. The results are such that your average ink-stained wretch will likely have a stroke. Basically the computer won, followed by two guys -- Neyer and Law -- who are partial to computers. Here are the overall standings of prediction accuracy, using mean squared error, with the lower number being better. "O/U" means a perfectly-balanced guess of every team going 81-81*:
To sum up: the three sets of predictions that sprang from slide rules in mothers' basements were the only ones that did better than wild-ass guesses, while the professionals were basically shooting in the dark (with the non-sabermetrically-inclined ESPN professionals at the absolute bottom).
Remember this when everyone starts trotting out their playoff prediction columns Sunday evening.
*UPDATE: Keith Law and Vegas Watch hisself correct me in the comments. O/U is not an 81-81 guess. Rather, it's (duh) the Vegas over/under lines. As Keith notes "The 81-81 predictions' RMSE was around 10.6, although it's a little bit rigged in that case, since RMSE penalizes large errors."