Ever notice how many people predict a World Series to go six games, and how few
Series actually go six games?
I think prognosticators do that because if they say a series will end in four or five games, they are saying something bold about one team's strength in relation to the other's. To call for a sweep is to suggest a hopeless mismatch. To say five is only a tad better. A fella can piss off readers when he does that and, even worse, someone may later say that he was really, really wrong!
At the same time, if he says seven, he's basically saying he has no idea which team is better, and hey, anyone can do that. "But if anyone can do it, why am I being singled out for my opinion?! I can't own up to being common . . .I can't own up to being common," Johnny Expert worries.
Saying six is a difference splitter. By saying six, Johnny Expert is basically saying "I think team X is better than team Y, but not so much that you can later rub how wrong I was in my face, OK?"
In other news, I picked the Rays in six. Um, no reason.