If spreads and moneylines are the backbone of sports gambling, prop bets are the attractive exterior that everyone is after.
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, the more standard prop bets will be centered around Joe Burrow’s passing yards, Cooper Kupp receiving total, and whether or not a team will register a touchdown on defense or special teams; for the more adventurous gamblers, options include the result of the coin toss, if a performing act will be caught smoking a blunt on stage, and if Tupac Shakur will be shown via hologram: here is a list of our favorite picks.
Without a doubt, the best prop bet is which song will be played first during the Super Bowl halftime show among an array of classics. So, for all of the music buffs and betting devotees, here is all that you need to know about the songs in contention— and then some.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show Tracklist
California Love by Dr. Dre, 2Pac, and Roger (+120)
California Love is the brainchild of legendary producer and rapper Dr. Dre. With a modern twist on a sample from Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman” and a West Coast influence, this song has one of the most recognizable riffs of all time, alongside arena-rocking verses from 2Pac and Dre himself.
California Love embodies the state of Cali itself in many ways and would be a great representation of it in the opening sequence of the Super Bowl halftime show; however, the main issue arises from the fact that Eminem is not a feature on the track, and he has been marketed as the headlining act after appearing first in Pepsi’s (the sponsoring company) announcement video. Although he is tied to Dre— and owes a majority of his fame to the Compton native— it does not make complete sense for Em to walk out to a song that is not his.
The Next Episode by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and Kurupt (+400)
A reinvention of David McCallum’s “The Edge,” The Next Episode is defined by another top-tapping synth line that just feels like the California beach. This is Dr. Dre’s second-most streamed song on Spotify and is known around the globe for its crescendos and permeating energy.
Eminem is not listed in the credits for this song either, but it is not a terrible pick as the opening song because of its pairing of two of the most iconic California performers, Dre and Snoop, who will both be parts of the show. This classic is guaranteed to ring off at one point, so touch up on your memorization before halftime hits and the whole bar is singing without you.
Family Affair by Mary J Blige (+550)
Look, everybody loves this banger by one of the most talented R&B vocalists ever, but there is no way that a New Yorker and the least popular of the five performers would willingly walk out and take command of the halftime show, regardless of if Dr. Dre produced the song or not (which he did.)
Like The Next Episode, Family Affair has a head-knocking tempo that would be challenging to resist shaking a feather too. Mary J’s excellence is undeniable, and this former Billboard number-one could be argued as her best work, but it does not fit the mold of the opening tune at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Forgot About Dre by Dr. Dre and Eminem (+600)
Here we go, the song with the best pick-value ratio on the list: Forgot About Dre. Released in 1999 on the album 2001 (confusing, right?), this classic jam marked Em’s debut on a Dr. Dre album less than a year after Dre teamed up with the Detroit native for the first time on My Name Is.
Bringing together a futuristic electronic beat, a new-age sound from Eminem, and the consistent thunder of a Dre verse, Forgot About Dre is the best pick of the lot for the opening track at the halftime show. With two powerhouse artists and the two most prominent on the list of performers, this song will be recognized by everyone in attendance, thus making it the best pick to go first.
HUMBLE. by Kendrick Lamar (+600)
Kendrick Lamar has been in hiding since his 2017 album DAMN. broke the charts, with HUMBLE. emerging as the hit single. While this song was a certified classic amongst the masses, the least famous rapper of the lot, and one that has been hidden for years, is not going to kick off the big show. This is officially the worst option amongst the contenders, so do not be swindled into putting any money on this prop.
SLEEPER PICK: Deep Cover by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (+900)
Nuthin’ But a G Thang, Drones, Gin and Juice, Godzilla, Who Am I, Drop it Like It’s Hot, and Amazing all have lower odds than Deep Cover, thus making it an “underdog” pick, but not without reason. This iconic, hard-hitting track features booming verses from Dre and Snoop and a bass-driven beat contrasted by a chord clash that, together, form one of the most legendary beats in hip-hop history, eventually being reinterpreted by Big Pun and Fat Joe on Twinz and Tyga on Dope.
It is not the most popular song, but it is one that perfectly captures the feeling of California in the 1990s and would bring energy to a packed crowd without wasting the biggest hits at the start of the show.