Molecules bonded between two metal contacts form the simplest possible molecular devices. Coupled by the molecule, the left and right contact-based states form symmetric and antisymmetric pairs near the Fermi level. We relate the size of the resulting energy splitting DeltaE to the symmetry and degree of delocalization of the coupling molecular orbital. Qualitative trends in molecular conductances are then estimated from the variations in DeltaE. We examine benzenedithiol and other molecules of interest in transport. (C) 2005 American Institute of Physics.