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Odds on First and Last Songs The Weeknd Performs at Super Bowl Halftime Show

Ann Le Grand

by Ann Le Grand in Entertainment

Jan 25, 2021 · 2:55 PM PST

The Weeknd on stage
The Weeknd appears on stage to accept the award for favorite male soul/R&B artist at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
  • Odds are out for songs The Weeknd will perform for the open and close of the Super Bowl Halftime Show
  • How has The Weeknd bookended his setlist for past shows?
  • Will he start us off with something upbeat or leave us with something nostalgic?

More and more, we’ve been watching the flickers of light play out stories and games on our screens by ourselves in our year of isolation. That doesn’t make sports fans any less excited to reel in the dawning of a new act for this year’s Super Bowl 55 Halftime Show. 

On February 7th, at 6:30 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will battle for the Lombardi Trophy. Smack in the middle, Canadian-born musician The Weeknd will take center stage for the Halftime Show, and sportsbooks have released odds on which songs he will begin and end with.

 Opening Song Odds

Song Odds
In Your Eyes +400
Blinding Lights +400
Pray For Me +450
Starboy +475
Can’t Feel My Face +500
Save Your Tears +650
Too Late +850
Hawái +850
Heartless +900
Love Me Harder +950
Earned It +1000
The Hills +1100
I Feel it Coming +1200
Lost in the Fire +1500
In the Night +3500


Kick Us Off

Every new beginning needs to start somewhere, so for our — dare I say, modern — way into a spectacle as traditional as the Halftime Show, this Starboy headliner has to answer some of the same questions we’re all personally dealing with: How to start and where will this all end?

Crafting the consummate setlist is a skill we might only be able to ultimately guess at in comparison to the three-time Grammy winning musician, but if patterns of the show’s past tell us anything, history suggest he’ll open it up with one of his two most-popular hits: “Blinding Lights” or “In Your Eyes.” 

Maybe he’ll consider the football fans on edge to see the ball snap again and again, who’ve likely been wanting to pound the reset button inch-by-inch up the lonesome field of our past year; or perhaps he’ll bend to the yearnings for connection of his own fans, who pine for not only a touch of his stardom but for any other sentimental offering beyond their confining walls upon which they’ll be watching him grace their flatscreens. 

This latter group has already embraced the two front-running songs — both from and released before the entirety of the artist’s fourth album After Hours —  as hits that would peak top of charts in over 30 countries and receive notable standout-track recognition from sundry critics respectively.

He opened MTV’s MVAs in New York City with “Blinding Lights” last August and used “In Your Eyes” for his commencement at the 2020 American Music Awards in LA’s Microsoft Theatre.  While the former song has served to be a bigger hit than the latter, not every performer leads with his or her biggest hit.

Last year, the show’s embarkment flaunted Shakira’s “She Wolf” and J-Lo’s “Jenny from the Block.” The year prior first saw Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe.” If these past performers were to have tossed out their big plays first, they would’ve had us first hear how Real J-Lo was whilst straight-forwardly shaking Shakira’s frank Hips, and Adam Levine would’ve started us off by moving like Jagger.

But this year feels focused on crawling out of Plato’s Cave to see a new dawn. Sure, a hint of nostalgia is to be expected as we continue to long reminiscently for a life once known, but past trends of opening Halftime Show songs have summoned an expectation of up-beat empowerment.  

Face Value Rumors

There have been whispers of “Starboy” and “Can’t Feel My Face” slipping into the setlist, but the more likely aforementioned starters continue to bring buzz of freedom-feeling sentiments that lend to the audience’s growing anticipation, along with their suspense for who might join The Weeknd on stage. 

There’s always a chance the artist could capitalize on the attention he’s been getting with his dramatic plastic surgery reveal in his music video for “Save Your Tears” — his closing song for his private venue performance at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in 2020 — but odds still have it that you’ll get four times every hundred dollar bill you slap down on either of the co-favorites should they win. 

Still, don’t discount looking outside the top two at “Pray For Me” and “Starboy” as they reel in close behind with 4.5:1 and 4.75:1 returns respectively on their prospective values if you’re looking to bet outside the pocket.

And what about our ending? Will The Weeknd “Save Your Tears” for his closing song once again? There’s a chance. But right now that chance is in second. First pick will be a repeat or a bump-from-top-to-bottom of “Blinding Lights.” 

Closing Song Odds

Song Odds
Blinding Lights -250
Save Your Tears +700
In Your Eyes +800
Starboy +1500
Heartless +1600
Too Late +1700
Can’t Feel My Face +1800
The Hills +2200
I Feel it Coming +2800
In the Night +3500

Show Closer

If we keep course with closing songs like last year’s earth-shaking tale of immortality, “Aguanile,” or the previous year’s “Moves Like Jagger,” we’re more likely to encounter the power of the “Blinding Lights” over the desolate wistfulness of “Save Your Tears.”

“Blinding Lights” has played favourite in over 30 countries on several top hits charts, figures more convincing that we’ll see this song win the setlist’s finale than any other odds that might draw you to look for value in other contenders. 

With lyrics like, “you’re the one I trust,” knowing we’re all searching for certainty now more than ever, and our general lifelong appetite for levitating inspiration, “Blinding Lights” is worth a bet for either one of the end zones on The Weeknd’s setlist for our Halftime Show at Super Bowl 2021. 

Pick: “Blinding Lights” (-250)

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