Usher Super Bowl Betting: Bodog Specials

Usher Super Bowl Betting

There’s a reason why the Super Bowl is the biggest game in the world: It’s about a 60/40 split between football and entertainment. Polls from this past February showed 61% of respondents saying they would tune into Super Bowl LVII for the game itself, while 20% were more interested in the Halftime Show, and another 14% were there for the commercials.

It won’t be easy following Rihanna’s halftime performance, but Jay-Z and his friends at Apple Music are back with another headline act for Super Bowl LVIII: Usher, who will take the stage on Sunday, February 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise – just across from the Las Vegas Strip.


Not long after Usher’s Halftime Show performance was announced in late September, the first wave of Usher Super Bowl betting odds hit the board at Bodog Sportsbook. The Big Three at press time are how many songs he’ll perform, who will join him on stage, and what his first song will be. There will be more to follow this week.

Usher is one of the biggest names in R&B, so there shouldn’t be much drop-off from Rihanna when it comes to viewer numbers for this year’s Halftime Show. Not every football fan will be an Usher fan, but the two worlds are much closer than they were when Katy Perry (Super Bowl XLIX) and Maroon 5 (Super Bowl LIII) were the featured acts.

That Maroon 5 Halftime Show was the last one produced exclusively by Ricky Kirshner, the man behind the Tony Awards and other extravaganzas. It was such a stinker that the NFL finally realized it needed to change direction; Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label were brought on to help produce the Shakira/Jennifer Lopez show at Super Bowl LIV, then Apple Music took over from Pepsi as the main sponsor before last year’s Big Game.

Everyone seems to be pretty happy with these last few shows under the Carter Administration. But the ties between Jay-Z and Apple Music – and Usher, for that matter – are deeper than most folks realize. They might even have some impact on this year’s Super Bowl Halftime odds at Bodog. Here’s a look at what we’ve already got on the board for you.

Number of Songs in Usher’s Set

This is the simplest of the three Usher Halftime bets, and the least controversial – there won’t be any palace intrigue over exactly how many songs Usher should perform. But there’s already great interest in whether he’ll sing Over or Under 8.5 songs at Super Bowl LVIII. Over is the –150 favourite as we go to press; Under is priced at +110.

Since this will be another Jay-Z joint, it’s easy enough to look back at the past few Super Bowls and see how many songs (including parts of songs) the headliners performed, either solo or with special guests:

LIV (Shakira/Jennifer Lopez): 22

LV (The Weeknd): 9

LVI (Dr. Dre et al.): 11

LVII (Rihanna): 15

Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show odds

You can see why Over 8.5 is the favourite at this point. However, when you look at those big numbers at the top and bottom of the list, both shows included medleys that jacked up the official song count. Jennifer Lopez and guest J Balvin tore through five “songs” in 76 seconds.

As for The Weeknd, our Canadian hero had the stage entirely to himself and his crew at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, partly because it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has yet to be announced whether Usher’s Halftime Show will include any side acts who might eat up his run time, but so far during the Jay-Z Era, those guest songs have been duets with the headliners, and not part of their own set.

To Appear During Set

Speaking of side acts, this is where knowing the whole thing with Jay-Z will help you get a jump on those Super Bowl odds. Jay-Z is the face that runs the place, at least as much as any one person can. We don’t have time to get into all his backstory here; suffice to say he became hip-hop’s first recorded billionaire in 2019, and was up to $2.5 billion in net worth the last time we counted.

As for the Halftime Show, Jay-Z likes to work with the fellow titans of his industry. That’s been the blueprint ever since he and Roc Nation took over the production reins. Earlier this year, Usher signed with the Gamma (stylized as “gamma.”) record label, which was co-founded by former Apple Music executive Larry Jackson, who had previously worked with Dr. Dre to launch the Beats brand that Apple later purchased in 2014. Apple is pouring a ton of money into Jackson’s latest venture as well.

Again, we don’t want to go too far down this rabbit hole, but if you want to figure out who might join Usher on stage at Super Bowl LVIII, take a moment to peel back the curtain and see how all these guys do business together. The other big clue will be in Usher’s discography; he’s worked with some of the biggest names in music, and you’ll find many of those names among the following luminaries on the odds list here at Bodog:

Alicia Keys

Keys sang with Usher on his 2004 hit “My Boo,” which spent six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. They’re both stakeholders in the Tidal music streaming service; Jay-Z bought Tidal’s parent company Aspiro in 2015.

Lil Jon

The Godfather of Crunk has appeared with Usher on multiple occasions. Lil Jon and the next artist on our list are both from the Atlanta area, as is Usher, and the three are frequent collaborators. It also helps that Lil Jon is a regular on the Vegas Strip.


Ludacris and Lil Jon helped Usher reach No. 1 with “Yeah!” off his 2004 album Confessions, which also gave us that Alicia Keys duet. Ludacris recently told Entertainment Tonight that he wouldn’t say no if Usher asked him to appear.

This would only be fitting. A previous Halftime Show performer with the Black Eyed Peas at Super Bowl XLV, featured on Usher’s 2008 single “What’s Your Name” and his 2010 single “OMG,” which Usher came on stage and sang with the Peas in Arlington.

Justin Bieber

Bieber might be from London, Ontario instead of Atlanta, but he’s one of Usher’s closest business contacts. Usher co-founded the Raymond-Braun Media Group label that started Bieber’s career in 2008, and they’ve worked together ever since – including in multiple ventures outside the music business.


Yet another good Canadian kid that cites Usher as an influence, Drake doesn’t have much shared history with his fellow icon, but it’s Drake, and it’s the Super Bowl. It has to happen eventually.


Being married to the producer helps. Not that Beyonce needs it; she was the headline act at Super Bowl XLVII, then they called upon her again at Super Bowl 50 to help save the Coldplay show. Would it upstage Usher in any way if she appeared again this February? Perhaps.


It may seem like an easy booking choice, but so far, Jay-Z has resisted the temptation to put himself on stage for the Halftime Show. But it would be nice to see them perform “Hot Tottie” from Usher’s 2010 album Raymond v. Raymond.

First Song

There’s a very good chance you’ll hear at least one of those aforementioned duets during this year’s Halftime Show. But which song will you hear first? “Yeah!” is the favourite, which seems questionable – would Usher come right out and start his show alongside Lil Jon and Ludacris? That would be like Beyonce starting her set alongside Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams as Destiny’s Child.

Then again, a lot of Usher’s hits come with featured artists attached. The second First Song favourite, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love”, features Pitbull, who at press time is not included on the odds list for making a guest appearance. Usher can still sing the song by himself, of course – he’s not going to bring Pitbull to every concert he plays.

Maybe “U Remind Me” is the better choice. It’s all Usher, and it’s the song that won him his first Grammy Award in 2002 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. It was also the first single off the album 8701, so it would be a logical First Song for Usher’s set.


The halftime show is a hot topic on Bodog’s Super Bowl Party Prop Sheet. Register today using your Bodog registered email for a chance to win $580 in cash.