On Thursday, July 4th, the supernatural showing of human digestion will be on display as the world’s top competitive eaters return to Coney Island for a contest of carnivorous carnage and 10 minutes of glory. That’s right, it’s the return of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and it features some of the most ferocious foodies walking God’s green earth.
Defending champions Miki Sudo and Joey Chestnut will lead the charge as contestants chase after the prestigious Mustard Belt, cash prizes, and worldwide fame. The best Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest betting sites have Sudo and Chestnut listed as massive favorites to win this year.
Unfortunately, for those of you that like to place wagers with sportsbooks, not all states with legalized sports betting are offering odds on this event. New Jersey decided against taking wagers on this competition to the dismay of Rich Shea, President of Major League Eating (MLE) who sent a letter to the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement:
“While other games are played on the Fourth—baseball, tennis and even corn hole—it is safe to say that the hot dog eating contest is the most anticipated sporting event of the day, with the eyes of the world turning to Coney Island at high noon.”
I must agree with Shea, that this is the most anticipated sporting event of the day. Children and adults of all ages have come to know that this ten minute feeding frenzy is synonymous with the Fourth of July. Thankfully, we have a wide range of online betting sites that offer odds on winners and various props so that we can place bets on Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Without further delay, hold the condiments, loosen your belts, and let’s devour these betting odds like a plate of famous hot dogs:
In 2011, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest expanded their event to include a women’s only competition. This inaugural contest was won by Sonya Thomas, aptly named “The Black Widow.” Sonya would go on to win the first three competitions and, in 2012, she would set the record for most devoured hot dogs by a woman at 45. In 2014, Thomas was dethroned by Miki Sudo who has won the last five straight competitions.
In 2014, Sudo consumed 34 hot dogs which was 6.5 more than the runner-up Sonya Thomas who ate 27.5 hot dogs. In 2015, Sudo defeated Thomas 38 to 31. Thomas would bounce back in 2016, but still came up short as she lost to Sudo 38 to 35.
The 2017 women’s competition saw a new runner-up as Thomas fell down to third place and Michelle Lesco rose to the occasion with a showing of 32 devoured hot dogs. Unfortunately, that was the year that Sudo set her personal best with 41 consumed hot dogs. Lesco would return in 2018 to battle Sudo, but once again finished runner-up as she lost by a score of 37 to 28. Thomas didn’t compete in 2018.
Lesco returns this year to try and upset Miki Sudo, but it will take a small intestine miracle for Michelle to win. Another competitor looking to make a run at the Mustard Belt is Juliet Lee. She has finished in the Top 4 for every women’s hot dog competition since 2011. Her best performance came in 2013 when she almost defeated Sonya Thomas for the win. Lee finished with 36 hot dogs and Thomas ate 36.75 hot dogs. It was the closest finish in the history of the women’s hot dog eating competition.
Lee will need to consume at least 36 hot dogs this year and Lesco will have to break her personal best of 32 hot dogs in order for either woman to have a chance at winning the Mustard Belt. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening. Sudo consistently puts up at least 37 hot dogs while her competition has never surpassed that mark.
There’s no value in Sudo, and it’s not worth taking a flier on anyone dethroning her.
Over the last five years, Sudo has consumed the following number of hot dogs per contest:
It appears that Sudo peaked in 2017 because her performance last year was the lowest total of consumed hot dogs since she debuted in 2014. With that said, I believe that Sudo will not consume more than 38.5 hot dogs this year. She’s only ever gone over that mark on one occasion.
With her competition never hitting 37, and only going over 38.5 hot dogs one time in this contest, I’m taking the Under for this hot dog contest bet.
The lore of this contest goes all the way back to the World War I era. However, there have been many times that this tale of digestive dueling has been debunked. For now, we can trace results as far back as 1967. In reality, this contest didn’t really become “famous” until 2001 when a 125-pound Japanese eater named Takeru Kobayashi turned the world of competitive eating upside down.
Kobayashi’s dominance was on full display as he doubled the previous record of 25 hot dogs by downing 50. It was so impressive that other competitors stopped their eating just to watch Takeru shake and swallow at a record pace. Kobayashi would go on to win six straight hot dog eating contests and also become a celebrity. Unfortunately, his tenure with the MLE ended painfully due to contractual issues and the rock star of competitive eating was no longer at the helm of this contest.
Replacing Kobayashi was Joey Chestnut who beat Takeru in three head-to-head hot dog battles. After Kobayashi left, Chestnut would continue his dominance. In fact, his reign of hot dog supremacy has now spanned 11 of the past 12 competitions. Chestnut’s only loss came in 2015 when his 60 consumed hot dogs fell two short to the winner Matt Stonie. Since then, not only has Chestnut won three straight competitions, but he has broken the world record each year.
Unlike with Miki Sudo, Chestnut has actually lost before. Nevertheless, his dominance these last three years have put him in a different atmosphere compared to his competition. Since Stonie won with 62 hot dogs in 2015, the man known as “Megatoad” has yet to even crack the 60 mark again. The only other male competitor to break 60 consumed hot dogs over the last three years was Carmen Cincotti who did it in 2017 and 2018. In fact, Cincotti’s 64 hot dog performance last year was the best total of anyone outside of Kobayashi and Chestnut.
Unfortunately for Cincotti and Stonie, Chestnut has been beating them by double digit dogs each of the last three years. And I don’t see that trend ending anytime soon.
Stonie and Cincotti will round out the Top 3 once again, but they won’t dethrone Chestnut as he claims his 12th Mustard Belt. By the time it’s all said and done, they will rename this competition to “Joey’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.”
For this bet, there’s no value in betting on Chestnut. For the extreme risk takers out there, a small flier might be considered on the +500 odds for The Field beating Chestnut.
With Chestnut, we have a lot more hot dog eating data to pour through in order to make an informed wager.
The following is a list of Chestnut’s previous hot dog totals:
As you can see, Chestnut has only cracked 70 hot dogs on three occasions. There have also been stretches where Joey was ascending with his totals, then ended up consuming significantly less the next year. For example, he consumed 69 in 2013, but ended up only tallying 61 in 2014 and 60 in 2015. I believe Chestnut could have a “down” year this year and dip back into the upper 60s again.
With that said, I believe this bet is definitely hitting the Under. I don’t see Chestnut tying his world record or breaking it this year. I’m predicting 69 to 70 hot dogs this Fourth of July.
Since Kobayashi took the stage at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, I have watched every contest. It has become a guilty pleasure of mine each year as I marvel at these superhuman feats. I am looking forward to the carnage and powers of regurgitation on full display this week.
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