Drake Wins Over $2 Million as Chiefs Knock off the Bengals in AFC Title Match

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
01/31/2023
News

Highlights

  • Drake has quickly become one of the most prominent high-rollers
  • The Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 behind a strong outing from Patrick Mahomes
  • The Chiefs are underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl

Rapper and international superstar Drake cashed in for over $2 million on the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC Championship success.

The night before the big game between the Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, Drake revealed via Instagram that he had bet $1.1 million on the top-seeded Chiefs. The Bengals had beaten the Chiefs in last year’s AFC title match and were briefly favorites before the lines shifted back in Kansas City’s favor. 

The final payout totaled $2.057 million for the world’s favorite singer-turned-high-rolling gambler. Not a bad day at the office.

Smart money betting

Sportsbooks originally set the line a point-and-a-half in favor of the Chiefs before moving the Bengals to as high as a three-point favorite. Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain was to blame, as many believed that he would be significantly hampered on the field. 

High ankle sprains can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to fully heal, depending on the severity. That didn’t seem to matter to Mahomes, however, who lit up the Bengals' defense for 326 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincy QB Joe Burrow did not play badly, but he missed out on several key opportunities. Twice he possessed the football in the fourth quarter with the score tied; he once came away with an interception, and later was forced to punt the ball with just 41 seconds on the clock. Burrow ended the game with 300 total yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.

Notably, neither team found any success running the ball, which led to both abandoning the ground game fairly early. They finished with a combined 113 rushing yards and one touchdown.

This is the third time in the last five years that the Chiefs are representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. The first time, they beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20, and the second, they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-9. They will now face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

Both the Chiefs and Eagles were the top seed in their respective conferences. In addition, the quarterbacks, Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, are expected to finish first and second in MVP voting on the back of outstanding regular seasons.

Trends and projections

According to one NFL betting site, 60.9% of spread money and 59.8% of moneyline money came in on the underdog Bengals. That’s including $1 million for the Chiefs, courtesy of Drake, and other big-money gamblers.

Looking ahead, the Chiefs are 1.5-point underdogs in the Super Bowl at the time of writing—however, most books opened with the game as a pick’em, meaning that the public is showing an early interest in the Eagles.

To be fair to Philadelphia, it has earned the plaudits. They won their first playoff matchup against the New York Giants 38-7 and doubled down with a 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers and the league’s best defense in the NFC Championship Game. 

If the lines hold, it will be the first time in 14 career playoff games that Mahomes is an underdog. That trend was almost broken last week before the lines returned to their regular starting point. 

In 13 playoff games, Mahomes is 8-5 against the spread and 10-3 straight up. He last faced the Eagles in Week 4 of last season, a game that he finished with 278 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception. 

Philly, meanwhile, is hoping to win its second Super Bowl in the last five years. They defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII in a game that featured an MVP-level performance from backup QB Nick Foles, the memorable “Philly Special” touchdown, and a 505-yard losing effort from Tom Brady.

The teams have two weeks off until the primetime showdown in Glendale, Arizona. That’s just enough time for big-money bettors like Drake to regather their wits and fill their bet slips on US sportsbooks.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.