Betting Odds on Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Performance

–The Super Bowl is the biggest single day betting event of the year for North American facing sportsbooks.

–Bookmakers try to come up with increasingly imaginative props–including odds on the halftime show.

–Betting on the halftime show can sometimes produce good wagering value.

It’s well known that the Super Bowl is the biggest single day betting event. Sports books that serve a US based clientele have their biggest betting ‘handle’ day of the year on Super Bowl Sunday. Overall, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is now the top event in terms of overall revenue but for single day betting action at North American facing sports books the Super Bowl is still the undisputed champion.

Just as significantly, it’s also the biggest single day of action for ‘recreational’ players. Most ‘wise guys’ look beyond the basic Super Bowl side and total bets which seldom offer any value. They will get involved in live betting and propositions but more often than not they leave the more conventional bets to the average Joe. In fact, much of the reason that sports books started to offer proposition bets in the first place was essentially to give the recreational demographic more betting options and more *interesting* betting options.

So to extract as much money as possible from recreational bettors bookmakers have dreamed up countless permutations on which a Super Bowl wager can be placed. In addition to side, total and moneyline bets there are a wide array of proposition bets involving every imaginable play or statistic that might occur during the game. In Nevada, sports books are limited to game related propositions. That’s not the case for bookmakers elsewhere in the world and in order to bring in more bets from ‘non hardcore sports fans’ they’ve dreamed up Super Bowl proposition bets on entertainment and celebrities surrounding the game. From TV ratings to the National Anthem to the TV Commercials they try to cover it all. For a few brave sportsbooks, the halftime show is a featured betting opportunity.


The first time there was widespread action on the Super Bowl halftime show at online sports betting sites was in 2002 when U2 played at Super Bowl XXXVI. Sports books offered bets on which songs U2 would play and which song they would open their performance with (they opened with ‘Beautiful Day’). It didn’t produce a slam dunk profit for sports books–many U2 fans knew that they were opening shows on their 2001-2002 tour with ‘Beautiful Day’. In other cases, sports bettors who couldn’t tell U2 from Justin Bieber figured out that the sound check on the Friday prior to the Super Bowl could produce some actionable information. As a result, some sharp handicappers (myself included) made a killing on U2’s Super Bowl performance.

Undeterred, sports books continued to offer betting on halftime shows. Odds were posted at fewer books and with significantly lower limits, but they were still available. There have been odds on whether or not Pete Townshend of ‘The Who’ would smash his guitar on stage during the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show (he didn’t) or if Madonna’s Super Bowl XLVI performance would feature a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ a la Janet Jackson in her infamous performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII. The most common theme of these bets involved what songs a performer would play on stage and particularly which one he/she would use as a show opener. Some show openers were almost too obvious (The Rolling Stones opening their Super Bowl XL performance with ‘Start Me Up’) while others were inspired choices out of left field (Prince opening his Super Bowl XLI performance with a cover of Queen’s classic ‘We Will Rock You’).

Lady Gaga is this year’s featured halftime performance and in theory she *should* be the type of ‘loose cannon’ that could offer some ad-lib hijinks. That’s doubtful, however, as the NFL has kept their halftime entertainers on a ‘short leash’ since the Janet Jackson ‘wardrobe malfunction’ hysteria. In any case, here’s some Super Bowl LI halftime show proposition betting odds:

Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Props

Color of Lady Gaga’s hair during halftime show?
Blonde/Yellow: -175
Brown: +300
Green: +1250
Pink: +1450
White: +1600
Blue: +1750
Purple: +2500
Orange: +2750
Any other color: +4250

First song performed by Lady Gaga during the halftime show?
Bad Romance -110
Born This Way +950
The Edge of Glory +1200
Just Dance +1500
Applause +2500
Poker Face +3000
Paparazzi +3500
Any Prince song: +3750
Any David Bowie song: +4250
Any George Michael song: +5000
Any Leonard Cohen song: +5500
Any Michael Jackson song: +7500
Get Schwifty: +10000
Any Other Song +300

What will Lady Gaga wear during halftime show?
Hat/Head Covering: -150
Glasses/Sunglasses: +210
Wings: +750
Tail: +1750
Pro Hillary Clinton/Anti Donald Trump T Shirt+5000
Performs nude: +15000

Will Lady Gaga use a headset or handheld microphone?
Headset: -170
Handheld: +140

Will Lady Gaga wear an outfit that exposes her midriff during halftime show?
Yes: -150
No: +120

Will Lady Gaga wear an outfit that exposes her cleavage during halftime show?
Yes: -150
No: +120

Will Lady Gaga cover any of these artists who died during the past year?
David Bowie: +200
Prince: +250
Leonard Cohen: +350
George Michael: +450
Glen Frey: +800
Paul Kantner: +1200
Leon Russell: +1500
Merle Haggard: +2500

Will Lady Gaga have any surprise ‘guest performers’?
No, performs solo: -350
Kendrick Lamar: +350
Beyonce: +350
Justin Timberlake: +450
R. Kelly: +450
Tony Bennett: +750
Jon Bon Jovi: +800
Elton John: +800
Beck: +1000
Trent Reznor: +1250
Marilyn Manson: +1750
Axl Rose: +2500
Lee Greenwood: +5000

Will Lady Gaga suffer a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ a la Janet Jackson?
Yes: +750
No: -1250

Will Lady Gaga wear a pink hat during the performance?
Yes: +325
No: -450

Number of wardrobe changes by Lady Gaga?
Over 1.5: -150
Under 1.5: +120

About the Author: Jim Murphy

For more than 25 years, Jim Murphy has written extensively on sports betting as well as handicapping theory and practice. Jim Murphy has been quoted in media from the Wall Street Journal to REASON Magazine. Murphy worked as a radio and podcasting host broadcasting to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy is an odds making consultant for sports and 'non-sport novelty bets' focused on the entertainment business, politics, technology, financial markets and more.