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2023 NFL Week 4 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: Taylor, Kelce & The Chiefs

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 7 mins

2023 NFL Week 4 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: Taylor, Kelce & The Chiefs

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The NFL went all-in with Taylor Swift in Week 4 and took the NFL betting public along for the ride. 

The Chiefs-Jets game dominated the action across most major retail and online books. The public swung heavily on Kansas City. The closing line stood anywhere between Kansas City -7.5 to -9.5 depending on the shop. The Chiefs won 23-20.

The game opened with the Chiefs as 9-point favorites. Circa moved its line down to 7.5 before it settled at 8 points. The line moved all day Sunday. 

“A lot of places stayed at 9 or 8.5 and slowly thru the day you saw a lot of places creep lower. I never got to 7.5. We closed at 8. But there definitely was some disparity between books on this game tonight,” Borgata AC Director of Race and Sports Thomas Gable said. 

Overall, in Week 4, the books saw much more green than RED. 

“It’s been the best Sunday of the season for us. Would have been even better if the Eagles lost outright but it’s still been a good day. A decent amount of parlay and teaser liability has built up on KC so the Jets covering tonight wouldn’t be a bad thing,” Gable said early Sunday evening. 

Bad Beat? No, Good Play 

Patrick Mahomes eschewed an easy touchdown with 1:51 to play and Kansas City up 23-20. Instead of strolling into the end zone and delivering a likely cover for Chiefs bettors – upwards of 90% of the public at times last week – Mahomes slid out of bounds at the 2. That play effectively ended the games since the Jets could not stop the clock. 

Millions of dollars swung afterward. 

While those with even a passing knowledge of football understood and agreed with the play. Those forever lost in the mythology and purgatory of the “Bad Beat” shared their gripes. 

The cover by the Jets could have easily been an upset win for Gang Green had Zach Wilson not fumbled the ball on the Chiefs’ 49-yard line with 7:24 to play. Mahomes and Company took the ball from there and ran out the clock, with some help from the officials. 

And possibly Park Avenue. 

These days, who knows?

Swift Stars In NBC Telecast, Across Sportsbooks 

The cozy relationship between Swift and the NBC broadcast certainly raised eyebrows. Her music was used in NBC promos. Carson Daly of “The Voice” delivered a pre-game informercial on the NFL for “Swifties” that was borderline insulting to those over the age of 6.  

Sunday night, the musical half of “Swelce” showed up at MetLife Stadium with an entourage of A-listers, including Ryan Reynolds,  Blake Lively, and Hugh Jackman. It was Swift's second-straight appearance at a Chiefs’ game. 

Both the books and public were heavily invested in the game’s outcome. 

NFL Week 4 Breakdown Of The Books

DrafKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook carried 87% of its spread handle and 91% of its spread bets on the Chiefs at a -9 close. The Chiefs were also the most-bet team on the board in terms of the spread.  

“We were pretty heavy on the Chiefs,” confirmed DraftKings Senior Director of Communication Stephen Miraglia. “Another week of great engagement.”

Here is a rundown of the most-bet teams at DraftKings, with the outcomes: 

Most-Bet TeamsOutcome
Chiefs (-9) at JetsJets won 23-20
Eagles (-8.5) at CommandersEagles won 34-31 in OT
Dolphins (+2.5) at BillsBills won 48-20
Jaguars (-3) vs. FalconsJaguars won 23-7
Ravens (+1) vs. BengalsRavens won 27-3

The book offered several Swift-Kelce themed props and odds boosts. The book’s handle on the Kelce props in Week 4 were twice the handle on all Kelce props combined for Weeks 1-3. Kelce longest reception (21.5 yards) carried a boost of +222 on the over. 

It landed on the under of 16 yards. That wager and the “Kelce Anytime TD” were the books top two props on the week. Kelce was also the most-bet first TD scorer at +475.

Kelce failed to reach the end zone Sunday – at least during the game. 

Its “Love Story” boost of Philadelphia’s D’Andre Swift and Kelce combining for 200 total yards fell well short. 

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM and several other top sportsbooks caught some sharp money leading up to the game that helped to mitigate the line movement, but the public sentiment was overwhelming. 

The sharps, and the books, won this round. Welcome to New York. 

“We can’t get anyone to wager on the Jets. The Chiefs -8.5 is the public’s, and probably Taylor Swift’s, favorite bet this weekend,” BetMGM Sports Trader Seamus Mager said pre-game Sunday. 

BetMGM had 91% of its spread wagers and 82% of its spread handle on the Chiefs. They opened at -9 and closed a -7.5. The over of 42.5 hit on the 23-20 final. The sentiment was split, with 51% cashing on the total. Plus, it saw 7x times more bets on Kelce props this week than last week, reported BetMGM’s John Ewing

FanDuel Sportsbook

The Chiefs-Jets line also closed at -7.5 at FanDuel. It, too, offered several Swelce themed props. FanDuel's “FriENDZONE” parlay had Kelce not scoring at TD. It hit at +105. 

The book paid +420 as the “Running Away Together” prop saw the Chiefs finish with 150+ total rushing yards. KC finished with 202

Among the "Swelce" FanDuelprops that missed: 

  • Top of the Charts: Travis Kelce Most Receiving Yards in the Game (+120)
  • Seeing Red: Chiefs to Win by 22+ (+380)
  • Opening Act: Travis Kelce First TD Scorer (+400)
  • Seemingly Ranch: Travis Kelce Last TD Scorer (+500

Kelce finished with 60 receiving yards (under his total of 71.5) but Allen Lazard of the Jets had 61.

Elsewhere, BetMGM got clipped when the Bills rolled to an easy cover against Miami. Fanatics saw 90% of its handle on the over the in Bills-Dolphins game. That total crushed the number as the teams combined for 68 points.

Gable said his book saw "big wins" on the 49ers, Eagles, and Ravens.  

"Even if Watson ruled out, there was a lot of Browns money," Gable said. 

Betting Pool Update 

The Circa Survivor pool saw very few knockouts this week. The top six teams (which included the Broncos) won. There were 47 unlucky souls to rode to defeat with the Steelers in Houston. Before the Sunday games, 6,794 of 9,267 entrants had been eliminated, or 73.3%.

Major NFL Week 5 Bets Of Note

DraftKings

  • Loss: $173,500 (-110) on CIN-TEN Over 41 Total Points 
  • Win: $173,500 (-110) on PIT-HOU Under 42 Total Points (Net $157,728.85)
  • Loss: $110,000 (-110) on TB-NO Over 40 Total Points 

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Push: $150,000 (-294) on KC-NYJ Alternative Spread -3
  • Win: $240,556 (-110) on KC-NYJ +8.5 (-110) (Net $218,665.40)

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.