When it comes to the Super Bowl, the game itself is only part of the equation. While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs are going to provide plenty of entertainment, so too will the cavalcade of commercials and the halftime show.
This year's halftime performance will be handled by Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd. The Canadian singer-songwriter is known for his wide range of musical genres and for his recent dive into the world of performance art.
The Weeknd has spent months publicly alternating between his own professional persona and a character created for his recent album After Hours. Appearances with a bandaged head and his use of facial prosthetics in his music video for "Save Your Tears" have led to some confusion, but The Weeknd seems to revel in the uncertainty.
"Why not play with the character and the artist and let those lines blur and move around?" The Weeknd told Jem Aswad of Variety.
The Weeknd's performance promises to be a spectacle, and it's anyone's guess as to what might actually transpire. However, fans will have an opportunity to wager on the proceedings, and we're here to examine some of the top prop bets that may be available ahead of the game's 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Super Bowl LV Halftime Props
How Many Songs Will Be Performed?
- Over 8 -220
- Under 8 +155
How Many Wardrobe Changes Will The Weeknd Have?
- Over 0.5 -380
- Under 0.5 +240
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
What Will Be the Last Song Played During the Halftime Show?
- "Blinding Lights" -200
- "Save Your Years" +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
Will The Weeknd Mention Joe Biden?
- Yes +675
- No -1500
Will The Weeknd Mention Donald Trump?
- Yes +575
- No -1100
Will a Football Be Used As a Prop?
- Yes +30
- No -575
Will The Weeknd Mention Canada?
- Yes +375
- No -600
*Props taken from Odds Shark.
As previously mentioned, The Weeknd has created an alternate persona that is likely to appear during the halftime show, if not be the centerpiece entirely. He has reportedly spent $7 million of his own money to make his vision a reality.
"We've been really focusing on dialing in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl," he said, per Katie Bain of Billboard.
Therefore, it feels unlikely that any unnecessary mentions will be out. We may also see a relatively small number of songs, as The Weeknd looks to emphasize the theatrics of his performance rather than present a typical pop-music program.
So, my guess is that The Weeknd isn't waxing political or rushing through a double-digit setlist Sunday—eight or fewer songs feels right.
As for the songs themselves, this is a tricky thing to navigate. A supposed Super Bowl setlist has emerged that has thrown the first- and last-song props into upheaval.
"That began earlier this week when an apparent tweet moved 'Save Your Tears' from opening odds of +1200 all the way down to +200. Not long after, most betting sites had pulled the first song odds altogether. Many of those same sportsbooks haven't put the market back up yet," Jason Logan of Covers.com wrote.
Many major online sportsbooks, like Bovada, have removed such props from their boards.
If you can still find song-specific props, it's worth noting that these can be difficult to predict—especially in this case. There's no telling exactly what story The Weeknd is looking to tell during the intermission, though he's made it clear that spinning a tale is his goal. This is why it's highly unlikely we'll see any surprise guests take the stage with him.
"There wasn't any room to fit it in the narrative and the story I was telling in the performance," The Weeknd told NFL Network. "So there's no special guests, no."
The Weeknd's narrative will dictate the song order, so pinning down a first and last song is nearly impossible. For a more traditional performance, The Weeknd might start with one of his earlier hits, like "Starboy" or "Can't Feel My Face" and wrap with his latest blockbuster "Blinding Lights." These choices are as good as any, though it might be better to avoid this particular prop altogether—assuming, of course, it's available.
As for a football being used as a prop, it feels plausible.
The Weeknd recently collaborated with the NFL, Bravado and Roc Nation to create Super Bowl-related merchandise for his webstore. One piece of merchandise is a personalized The Weeknd-themed Wilson football, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him carry a copy on stage at some point.
It also won't be a surprise to see The Weeknd undergo at least one wardrobe change, though it may be as simple as him switching out jackets or applying and removing bandages from his head.
As The Weeknd told Aswad, his new character is going through a transformation of sorts throughout After Hours,
"It's all a progression, and we watch The Character's storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on," The Weeknd said.
If The Character is indeed the focal point of this halftime tale, then it would make sense for that progression to include changes to his physical appearance.
Of course, The Weeknd may have something entirely new and unexpected planned for Sunday, and it would shock exactly no one. The one thing that feels relatively certain is that this should be one of the most unique halftime shows in recent memory.