When you combine one of the NFL’s most beloved players with arguably the world’s most famous person, you get what NFL betting enthusiasts are calling the “Swifties Effect.”
Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce, and his newfound connection with Taylor Swift are making waves in the world of NFL player props, as revealed by the numbers from Caesars Sports’ Adam Pullen and DraftKings Sportsbook’s Johnny Avello.
Swift’s Impact Beyond the Field
The influence of the Kelce-Swift dynamic extends far beyond the realm of sports betting. Caesars’ assistant director of trading, Adam Pullen, discovered this during the Sunday Night Football showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets.
“My daughter is not a sports fan at all. But when I got home on Sunday night, she was watching the Chiefs-Jets game,” Pullen remarked.
Swift, a notable presence at MetLife Stadium, was frequently featured on NBC’s broadcast. While Kelce secured nine receptions for 60 yards, the absence of touchdowns proved to be a significant setback for bettors, though the Chiefs narrowly clinched a 23-20 victory.
Kelce’s prop bets garnered an extraordinary amount of attention at sportsbooks across the country, encompassing wagers on the first TD scorer, anytime TD, Over/Under on receptions, and receiving yards. The action on Kelce’s props for the Chiefs-Jets match far surpassed that of the preceding three weeks.
Fueling the Fire
Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, acknowledges the undeniable “Swifties Effect.” However, he emphasizes that Kelce’s popularity as a prop bet choice remains strong even without Taylor Swift.
“First of all, you have to understand that Kelce is a popular choice in prop bets without Taylor Swift. He’s Patrick Mahomes’ go-to guy. Kelce is one of the most-bet guys to score the first touchdown/anytime touchdown every week,” Avello stated. “Now, you throw Swift in the mix on Sunday night, an isolated game. That game had the biggest handle of any game this year in the NFL.”
DraftKings reported that Kelce props in the Chiefs-Jets game drew twice as much money as Kelce props in the first three games combined. Notably, DraftKings offered Kelce props in Week 1, but those bets were refunded when Kelce was ruled out.
Additionally, by money wagered, Kelce’s longest reception and anytime TD props were the two most-bet player props in DraftKings’ NFL Week 4 odds market.
Taylor Swift’s presence on Sunday Night Football against the Jets, combined with the enthusiastic viewership, contributed significantly to these staggering numbers.
A New Audience for the NFL
Avello points out that Swift’s involvement may introduce a fresh audience to football, as well as NFL betting. The convergence of Swift’s immense following and the NFL’s dedicated fan base is undoubtedly shaping a unique synergy.
The Taylor Swift Influence Going Forward:
Looking ahead to the Chiefs’ matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, Avello anticipates more standard action as it’s not a prime-time game in a major city, and Swift’s attendance is unconfirmed.
However, in Week 6, when the Chiefs face off against the division rival Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football, Avello expects another surge in activity. The previous numbers from the Jets game might not be surpassed, but it’s anticipated to be a significant event.
It’s worth noting that the Chiefs have an undefeated record of 2-0 when Swift is in attendance, albeit against the Bears and the Jets.
“Chiefs fans gotta love it. When she’s there, the Chiefs win,” Avello quipped.