Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, right? That's the saying, isn't it? Well, Taylor Swift fans are putting that age old adage to work as the NFL continues to gain newfound fans amid the speculation that Swift and Kansas City Chiefs' star tight end Travis Kelce are romantically involved.
After she made an appearance on Sunday Night Football yesterday though, the Swifties are turning to their bookies, when they will learn how fickle a mistress gambling can be.
Swift effect: How much did bettors put on Travis Kelce?
A lot. Enough to make a sportsbook cry tears of joy, perhaps. According to the latest data points from Tipico Sportsbook, there was a 27 percent increase on overall bets from Week 3 to Week 4 on the Chiefs. The Chiefs also saw a 25 percent increase on total moneyline and spread bets from last week.
But that's just the Chiefs. Kelce was the real draw. The seven-time Pro Bowler saw an uptick of 115 percent, over twice as many player prop bets placed on him between this week and last. He also saw a 122 percent increase in Travis Kelce anytime touchdown bets.
Now, that's all well and good, but couldn't that be a coincidence? Maybe. I mean, the Jets had given up three touchdowns to tight ends over the previous two weeks and even allowed one against the Chiefs, although it was Noah Gray, not Kelce.
However, an increase in bets of this magnitude is almost impossible to replicate under any circumstances. Clearly, there was other forces at play.
Outside of the Chiefs game, which received 23 percent of all wagers with Tipico, the next most-wagered-on game was the Patriots-Cowboys game, with nine percent. We know that the Cowboys have the largest fanbase of any team in America. Yet, their number of bets was far fewer, less than half of the Chiefs. If that doesn't detail the massive impact Taylor Swift has left on the NFL community, I don't know what does.
Oh, and the game itself was the most viewed show (yes, literally any show on Sundays) since the Super Bowl. No big deal.
Sunday night's Chiefs-Jets game drew 27 million viewers — the most-watched Sunday show of any kind since the Super Bowl.
The broadcast saw an estimated increase of more than two million female viewers from NBC's average. pic.twitter.com/oG7YEtl2mk
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 2, 2023
Did these wagers on Kelce pay off?
Most of them, no. The two most popular player prop bets on DraftKings last night were "Kelce anytime touchdown scorer" and "Kelce long reception over 22 yards." That latter bet was a boosted promotion by DraftKings in honor of Taylor Swift's 2012 song "22."
Neither of those bets hits though. Kelce put up an uncharacteristically mediocre night in New York, recording just six catches for sixty yards, no touchdowns, and a long of 16 as the entire Chiefs' offense really struggled to get going throughout the entire game.
Football breakdown: NFL Week 4 winners, losers: Bengals in bad place with QB Joe Burrow
When will the Chiefs and Travis Kelce play again?
For those of us who weren't deterred by losing money on Kelce this week, there will be more opportunities as we prepare for Week 5 of the NFL season. The Chiefs' (3-1) next game is slated for Sunday, October 8, at 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT. They will be on the road, taking on the Minnesota Vikings (1-3).
The Kansas City Chiefs are favorites to defeat the Washington Commanders, according to the BetMGM NFL odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering NFL betting promos in 2023. But if deep prognosticating is your game, check out the most popular future bets in 2023.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Taylor Swift effect: Travis Kelce, Chiefs wagers are up significantly