Winners & Losers: Swift Code

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Prop bets involving Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl

There are some gamblers for whom prop bets are what the Super Bowl is all about. That is, not betting on the outcome of the game, but betting on stuff that goes down in and around the game.

On any given Sunday, there are always so-called player props available, but during the week leading up to the big one it becomes a smorgasbord of opportunity. I once did a story on a guy who was props obsessed.

A pro gambler, he viewed those wagers as a good way to clean up betting on the Super Bowl each year. He was right. He did the math, knew what he wanted, had a note pad with all of his optimal bets written down.

This guy and I roamed through dumpy, downtown Las Vegas casinos, where he found the best lines and gave up the least vig. I couldn’t figure out why we weren’t in the Bellagio, glamming it up and finishing at Yellow Tail for sushi, but I was new to this and missing the point.

Usually, sharp guys find inefficiencies by betting on which side will be first to punt, who gets the most running yards, whether or not there will be a safety. Then things get goofy.

There are wagers on all sorts. You can bet whether the coin-toss will land heads or tails. It’s possibly the worst bet in football as a pure 50/50 wager. You pay a commission to the bookie, after all.

Then, there’s what color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach. The shortest odds are for purple.

There are even over/under bets on how long the American national anthem will go for. This year, prop betting is more off-the-hook than normal.

For that, we can thank Grammy girl Taylor Swift. She’s added another layer to NFL fandom, jumping up and down in private boxes at Chiefs games, rooting on boyfriend Travis Kelce and, finally, as it comes to one last showdown, giving us some strange stuff to bet on.

There are wagers on whether or not the game’s MVP will mention Swift in his speech, how many times she will be shown on TV during the National Anthem, how many times she will be shown over the course of the entire broadcast.

The Canadian branch of FanDuel has a bet up on whether or not Kelce will propose on the field to Swift after the game. After opening at +140 yes, the betting odds zoomed up to +1060 yes. Pretty crazy to bet $100 on something like that with the potential to win $1,060.

But that is the great thing about gambling. Whether you’re the bettor or the book, whether the wager is something sensible or completely ridiculous, it forces us to put our money where our mouths are. These bets are clearly wacky.

Officially, I think, they qualify as novelty bets – as does the other Swift action: the number of stones in her engagement ring, whether or not she and Kelce will still be a couple at the start of the next NFL season, who will be Swift’s maid of honor (Lorde is the longshot) – and they can’t be made via legit American sportsbooks. We have to go to Canada or beyond, or else take our chances on the best offshore sportsbooks available.

Life is chancy enough that I’ll stick with legit operators for my sports betting and will curb my enthusiasm (namecheck for a great show that launches into a new season on HBO this Sunday – but that is something else altogether) for the Taylor wagers. Surely, I’ll bet on a side to win and likely take some dogs on the prop bets.

People are always optimistic and rooting for more action. So, it brings a discount when you gun for less. Never mind the opinion of a super-fan friend who grouses that essentially wagering on a boring 60 minutes of play, and rooting for as much, is a terrible way to watch a game.

And of course I’ll be gambling with my digestive system on how lousy I will feel from over consumption of Buffalo chicken wings. No doubt, I’ll take the under and lose that one. I always do.

Michael Kaplan
Gambling Author and Journalist
Michael Kaplan
Gambling Author and Journalist

Michael Kaplan is a journalist based in New York City joined Techopedia in November 2023. He is the author of five books ("The Advantage Players" comes out in 2024) and has worked for publications that include Wired, GQ and the New York Post. He has written extensively on technology, gambling and business — with a particular interest in spots where all three intersect. His article on Kelly "Baccarat Machine" Sun and Phil Ivey is in development as a feature film.