The Super Bowl 55 halftime show offers some unique prop betting opportunities every year — and this year is no different — but there seems to be one key prop missing from every book’s list in 2021: Over/Under on how long it takes to explain to people unfamiliar with The Weeknd that, yes, that’s how his name is actually spelled. We’ll set that for you, along with the inevitable, “Well, why is it spelled that way?” follow-up question: 32.5 seconds. (If you don’t know why, it’s explained here.)
The usual halftime show prop bets — how many songs will be played, which songs will open/close the performance, will there be a wardrobe malfunction — are all on the board, but there are a few more The Weeknd-specific bets that provide the most intrigue.
There aren’t many confirmed spoilers — unless you count this sketchy rumored set list (which we don’t) — but one interesting note is that The Weeknd claims he spent $7 million of his own money to make this halftime show performance a “cinematic experience.” If true, the Canadian-born performer is going all-out, which likely means pre-taped bits, costume changes galore, extravagant set pieces, and perhaps a slew of big-name guest stars.
We’ll break down the most notable props out there, including ones involving Kenny G, Doja Cat, and Joe Biden because it’s 2021 and why wouldn’t that trio be included in the same article?
Odds courtesy of oddsshark.com
Super Bowl halftime show prop bets 2021
How many songs will be played during the halftime show?
Eight songs might sound like a lot, especially if “only” The Weeknd performs, but you have to remember that sometimes just the hooks or a quick interlude from a song is played during the medley of songs performed at the Super Bowl. If you look at the past few years, primary artists often hit the eight-song mark, with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira blowing past it in 2020 (15, plus a dance outro). The year before, Maroon 5 and guests played nine songs (plus a taped song, which may or may not count, depending on your book’s rules). The year before that, Justin Timberlake played 11. Lady Gaga played seven in 2017, but there were also three pre-recorded songs as she entered the stage. Again, it’s unclear if those count. All told, during the past 10 Super Bowl halftime shows, artists averaged 8.9 songs, not counting pre-recorded excerpts. Obviously, that number is skewed high by last year’s dual performers, but the trend is still with the OVER.
That said, more value is on the UNDER, and with what we know about The Weeknd’s plans to make this a “cinematic experience,” he might focus more on the theatrics and less on the music, which could make the UNDER a smart bet.
How many wardrobe changes will The Weeknd have during the halftime show?
- Over 0.5 -380
- Under 0.5 +240
This seems like an easy OVER. If The Weeknd really shelled out $7 million of his own money, there’s no way he’s staying in one outfit the whole time. The value is on the UNDER, but there’s also a reason the OVER is such a heavy favorite. That said, we might need to get clarification on whether unwrapping bandages from one’s face counts as a wardrobe change. Nah, probably not…right?
What will be the first song played during the halftime show?
- Starboy +350
- Blinding Lights +400
- Can’t Feel My Face +425
- In Your Eyes +450
- Save Your Tears +500
- The Hills +850
- Heartless +1000
- Too Late +1200
- I Feel It Coming +2000
- In The Night +4500
“Starboy” is a favorite for a reason, but you still get plus money if you bet on it, so it’s not a bad choice. Of course, he could do something just as literal/theatrical and opt for “Blinding Lights” or “Can’t Feel My Face” to go along with the the granduer of performing at the Super Bowl or his recent facial performance art thing that he’s doing. It’s tempting to think artists go with one of their biggest hits to open the halftime show, and while many do, others opt for one of their newer songs. That might mean “Blinding Lights” or “Save Your Tears” is the play, though both make more sense as a closer than a opener. Ultimately, this is mostly a guess unless you trust the “leaked” track list linked above (Note: Don’t trust that track list).
What will be the last song played during the halftime show?
- Blinding Lights -240
- Save Your Tears +675
- In Your Eyes +1000
- Starboy +1400
- Heartless +1400
- Too Late +1600
- Can’t Feel My Face +1600
- The Hills +1800
- I Feel It Coming +2500
- In The Night +3000
“Blinding Lights” makes sense here, but the value is terrible for what’s ultimately a guess. “The Hills” is usually accompanied by a cool light show when he performs it live in concert, but that might not be enough reason for him to use it to close out his “cinematic experience.” Ultimately, “Blinding Lights” or “Save Your Tears” feels like the pick, with the latter offering much better value.
Will The Weeknd mention Canada during the halftime show?
If you can find a book that lets you parlay this bet with “will Drake appear on stage,” then take the “yes” on both, just from a sheer value standpoint. Even without the Drake aspect, the “yes” presents good value, but there’s really no reason for him to mention Canada (unless it’s in the lyrics to one of his songs). It’s certainly possible he’s proud enough of his home country to give it a shoutout, but does it really fit with the epic performance he has planned? Probably not. So, if you like going for the big bucks, play the “yes;” if you like just making a very small amount of cash on a “safe” bet, take the “no.”
Will The Weeknd mention Joe Biden during the halftime show?
Will The Weeknd mention Donald Trump during the halftime show?
Seems like “no” is the easy answer on these, even though it offers little value. The Weeknd is no fan of Donald Trump, but he’s never been particularly political on a public stage. He is a showman, of course, but it’s likely he has bigger plans for this performance and doesn’t want it to become a political lightning rod. The NFL certainly doesn’t want that either.
Will a football be used as a prop?
Again, The Weeknd doesn’t seem like the type of performer who’s going to have any kind of “football-themed” performance just because he’s at the Super Bowl. This is his time to shine, not be part of the big game hype.
Will Bella Hadid be shown during the halftime show?
It’s almost impossible to know if Hadid and The Weeknd are together at any given moment (seriously, read this timeline of their relationship, which only goes up to August of last year), but either way, this feels like an easy “no.” Even if they are currently dating and she’s at the stadium, she likely won’t be shown, so barring some shocking reveal where she’s brought on stage during one of the songs that is reportedly about her, she likely won’t be seen.
Will Ariana Grande be on stage during the halftime show?
Will Doja Cat be on stage during the halftime show?
Will Drake be on stage during the halftime show?
Will Kenny G be on stage during the halftime show?
The rumored track list above says Grande will appear during the song “Love Me Harder,” but, again, that track list has 18 songs on it, so we’re taking that with a giant grain of salt. Plus, that song isn’t even on the choices listed above as a possible opener/closer (probably because it’s actually Grande’s song and The Weeknd is just a guest on it). Doja Cat is on an “In Your Eyes” remix, which is a newer song and possibly more likely to be performed, so she’s a slightly better bet.
Drake makes a lot of sense since they’re Canadian compatriots. He’s the biggest star of the bunch and could easily carry his own song or two if needed, though The Weeknd might not want to get upstaged during his big moment, which Drake would feasibly do. Kenny G might actually be the best bet here, as he just plays an instrument on an “In Your Eyes” remix, and that would be the kind of weird/cool thing that would be mildly shocking to casual viewers, sparking frenzied Google searches of “Why was Kenny G on stage with The Weeknd at the Super Bowl?”
It does seem likely there will be at least one or two surprise guests during this performance (Kendrick Lamar is another good option if you can find a book that lists him), if for no other reason than to give The Weeknd time to change costumes or put set pieces in place. You could just bet $100 on the “yes” on all of these and hope to win one and get a big payoff, which would almost cover all four bets. If you happen to hit just two, then you’ve made at least a $240 profit.
Will there be a wardrobe malfunction?
Define “wardrobe malfunction.” If it just means a snag in someone’s clothing or a wig/mask dropping down prematurely, then, yeah, it could happen. If it means someone’s naughty parts being mostly or partially exposed, Janet Jackson style, then no.