We won't comment here on whether the podcasts are any good - some people love them, others hate them. (We will note that the amount of smugness was off the charts, but hey, to use horse racing parlance, Simmons is coming off a long layoff and with new connections, and may have needed a start.) What the Sal Podcast did remind us, though, is that Simmons' NFL thoughts are far from cogent and often without any basis. This has been evidenced for nearly a decade by his selections from his ESPN column. While Simmons would love to have us believe that he's a great handicapper, we looked at his results from 2004 forward, and we found that he's slightly above .500 with his picks but well in the red once the vig is taken into account:
So for the record, that 3 out of 11 years in the black, with a loss approaching 10 grand for a decade. Even just the picks straight up against the spread are a mere 35 games over .500, which is basically within the margin of error on tossing a coin. We certainly hope Bill is not funding his children's college fund with his wagers.
We are not saying we would do much better - we are not football handicappers, and have never pretended to be. But we do think that everyone who prognosticates is worthy of some scrutiny - that's why we put up our picks for Triple Crown and Breeders Cup races and look back at them afterwards. (In sum: we're great at the TC and all over the map in the BC.) If you're going to pass yourself off as someone who understands Vegas and is equipped to deal with point spreads, perhaps your overall record should come close to backing it up.