The Super Bowl annually attracts the most wagering of any American sporting event—second internationally to the FIFA World Cup championship game.
If Taylor Swift shows up in Las Vegas this Sunday to root for Travis Kelce and the Chiefs in SB LVIII, this Super Bowl could offer a whole new dimension of betting for a whole new audience—namely, Swifties.
Why wouldn’t she be there? you ask.
Well, ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, Swift’s Eras Tour is scheduled for four concerts at the Tokyo Dome, Wednesday through Saturday.
The flight from Narita International Airport to the runway on Wayne Newton Boulevard is a little more than 12 hours. But, thanks to the International Dateline, Taylor can arrive Saturday night, well before kickoff—unless there’s a glitch.
Here are some possibilities, and my suggested plays:
Over/Under—Will this game break last year’s record for largest television audience?
When Kelce & Company knocked off Philadelphia, 115.1 million pairs of eyeballs watched (according to those who measure such things), topping the previous record set in 2015 by almost 700,000. (There’s been no suggestion that Taylor’s Baby Blues were among them last February.)
My choice: With Swifties tuning-in to once again catch glimpses of their idol, take the Over.
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Another Over/Under—Will CBS show Taylor more or fewer than six times between kickoff and 0:00?
In the American Football Conference Championship Game Sunday-before-last, the same network cut away to the future Mrs. Kelce (?) on four occasions, all in the first half. This included once in a replay of the Chiefs’ second touchdown (a two-yard run by Isiah Pacheco on which Kelce sealed off a would-be tackler with a well-executed block), and with 3:42 left in the second quarter as part of a promo for live coverage of the Grammys a week later.
My choice: If this is the most-watched SB ever, because of her, then take the Over on this one, too.
(Expect bonus post-game cameos—and maybe even one of the lovebirds hugging and kissing, depending on the outcome. There were two of those after KC beat the Ravens, plus two cutaways to Taylor beaming proudly during the trophy presentation.)
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Prop Bet No. 1—Will CBS feature an interview with Taylor Swift as part of its multi-hour pre-game programming?
There’s plenty to talk about: Her relationship with Travis . . . What’s in their future. . . the 12-hour flight from Japan . . . all the attention and public fuss over her budding romance . . . and . . . and . . .
My choice: If she’ll agree to do it, I can’t imagine the network passing up the chance. But will she? I’d say she won’t want to upstage her beau, so I’d bet No.
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Prop Bet No. 2—Will Taylor Swift be shown on TV during either the national anthem or the halftime show?
Reba McEntire, called the “Queen of Country,” will sing The Star-Spangled Banner, and Usher, heralded as the “King of R&B,” will be the star of intermission.
My choice: Of course, a resounding Yes! Who could pass up checking on the reaction of the world’s pop icon to the performances by two of music’s other megastars.
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Prop Bet No. 3—Will Travis propose to Taylor at midfield after the game?
This could be the last game of Kelce’s illustrious pro football career, if you believe widespread rumors. There’s also a report that he popped the question on New Year’s Eve, with plans to announce their engagement after the Super Bowl. And the shows of affection after the Baltimore game appeared to include Taylor mouthing the words, “I love you.”
My choice: Quite a setting, but this is HIS show, if not his swan song. Their “moment” would be overshadowed in the post-game hoopla, especially if there’s a Kansas City victory. Anything’s possible, but I don’t think so.
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Who will win? Kansas City opened as a slim 1.5-point favorite. A few days later, bettors had made the 49ers the 2-pont choice.
With Taylor watching in person, the Chiefs beat Miami, Buffalo and Baltimore to reach SB LVIII with a 14-6 record. San Francisco is the top seed in the NFC and, with playoff wins over Green Bay and Detroit, stands 14-5,
My choice: Taylor will be there. Need I say more?
Denny Dressman is a veteran of 43 years in the newspaper business, including 25 at the Rocky Mountain News, where he began as executive sports editor. He is the author of 16 books, nine of them sports-related. You can write to Denny at email@example.com.