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Grammy award winning artist Taylor Swift watches the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers with Brittany Mahomes on October 22, 2023 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)
January 11th, 2024
Could the Kansas City Chiefs be the last great American dynasty? Last year's Super Bowl winner will go for a second straight title and a third championship since 2020 when Patrick Mahomes and company begin their postseason journey in a clash with the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.
The AFC West powerhouse is a bit of an anti-hero in the NFL world (a la the New England Patriots of 2000-2019), but Kansas City may still have the greatest rooting interest of any team in the postseason due to a new gold rush of fans — Swifties.
When pop icon Taylor Swift began dating star tight end Travis Kelce, and subsequently attended more than half of his games during the 2023 season, the team in red attracted even greater national attention, far beyond the sports world.
Since Taylor Swift showed up to Sunday's Chiefs-Bears game:• 400% spike in Travis Kelce jersey sales• Kelce's podcast ranks #1 overall on Apple• Kelce adds 383K Instagram followers• 24.3M viewers watch, #1 game this week• 63% jump in female viewers age 18-49• 3x… pic.twitter.com/Wqtu1vgMCT— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 26, 2023
Since Taylor Swift showed up to Sunday's Chiefs-Bears game:• 400% spike in Travis Kelce jersey sales• Kelce's podcast ranks #1 overall on Apple• Kelce adds 383K Instagram followers• 24.3M viewers watch, #1 game this week• 63% jump in female viewers age 18-49• 3x… pic.twitter.com/Wqtu1vgMCT
Call it what you want, but Swift's presence at the game was as much a headline-grabber as the outcome on the field. And with Kansas City looking for some good karma as a longshot heading into the postseason (+1000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII), one major question surrounding Saturday's matchup is whether Swift will make an appearance to support her beau and his teammates.
But the crazier question, from a sports betting perspective — Does Swift's turnout at games have any bearing on the Chiefs and Kelce's performance?
Are you ready for it? Below we do a week-by-week breakdown of the Chiefs' 2023 season with a look into the team's win/loss record, their against-the-spread (ATS) record with Swift in attendance, and Kelce's Over/Under on receiving yards with and without his better half in attendance.
The difference is daylight with Swift cheering on her lover. In the nine games she attended, beginning with the Week 3 win over the Chicago Bears and ending with the Week 17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on New Year's Eve, the Chiefs went 6-3.
Against the spread is a different story, however. The Chiefs covered the spread in four of nine games with Swift in the crowd, failed to cover in four, and the spread was a push in Kansas City's 10-point triumph over New England in Week 15.
The Chiefs' ATS record was only slightly better when Swift was absent. Andy Reid's team covered in five of those eight games, as noted below:
With no Swift in sight, Kansas City suffered its worst loss of the season (15-point loss to Denver) and went 5-3 overall. On the flip side, with Taylor in the house, the Chiefs earned their biggest win of the year (a 31-point blowout over Chicago), and their victories were by an average margin of 12.8 points, compared to an average win margin of 7.4 points without the superstar.
There may not be much correlation between the Chiefs' ability to cover the spread when the multiple Grammy winner is present for game day, but there is a significant difference in Travis Kelce's stat line.
Long story short, in games without Swift in her suite, Kelce's receiving yards total went Under in five of six games (he did not play Week 1 or Week 18).
In the nine games where Swift was in attendance, Kelce was a better man — his receiving yards total went Over four times, and he was virtually untouchable in K.C.'s Week 7 win over Los Angeles when he caught for a season-high 179 yards.
Saturday night's matchup with Miami will bring plenty of bad blood as Dolphins stud receiver Tyreek Hill returns to Arrowhead to confront his former team, whom he won a Super Bowl with in 2020.
The Chiefs opened as a four-point favorite at home, with the line shifting in their favor in a contest that will be played in 5 degree weather with a wind chill of -10. The last time a game was that cold in the NFL was 2016.
If Swift is in attendance, history indicates it's more than likely (more than 66% chance) the Chiefs will win, but whether they cover is a toss-up.
The Over/Under on Kelce's receiving yards is set at 57.5, and with no Taylor around, you may want to consider the Under.
So, question...? Should you actually make a bet based on whether Swift is hanging around Arrowhead? Well, Detroit Lions fans know all too well that strange coincidences and pseudo-science do sometimes portend the result of a game.
i have bad news for the lions :(since the afl/nfl merger, they are 0-12 (.000) on thanksgiving when the moon is in a waxing gibbous phase. tomorrow is a waxing gibbous pic.twitter.com/IlKqXH5cgr— Jay Cuda (@JayCuda) November 22, 2023
i have bad news for the lions :(since the afl/nfl merger, they are 0-12 (.000) on thanksgiving when the moon is in a waxing gibbous phase. tomorrow is a waxing gibbous pic.twitter.com/IlKqXH5cgr
Ahead of Detroit's Thanksgiving Day matchup with NFC North rival Green Bay, the Lions were favored to win by 7.5 points. But as Jay Cuda pointed out, he knew the Packers were trouble, as they were set to challenge a team that was 0-12 on Turkey Day since the AFL/NFL merger when the moon was in a waxing gibbous phase. On Nov. 23, 2023, the moon was in that very phase, and the Lions not only failed to cover, they lost outright on the holiday.
Who in their wildest dreams would have thought that odd stat would actually come into play on Thanksgiving Day? But it did, and bettors who jumped on the tip were rewarded whether they took Green Bay +7.5 or bet the Packers moneyline (+275).
So, now that your eyes are open to the fact bizarre betting tips and trends can sometimes help you cash winning tickets, you can be fearless at the sportsbook ahead of Saturday's matchup in Kansas City with our full breakdown of Taylor Swift's effect on the Chiefs and Kelce's performance.
*For Swifities keeping track, there are 22 Taylor Swift song titles, or references, planted throughout this article (not including this very sentence). Can you spot them?
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