It’s an American (gambling) tradition.
The world’s best eaters are in New York City this weekend, gathered for the most high-profile event of the competitive eating calendar. But despite the long line of contestents seeking glory, there is but one man who stands above the rest. And when it comes to odds for the event, it’s him above everyone else.
For over a decade, Joey Chestnut has been the best American eater in the field. He won eight straight titles from 2007-2014 before losing to Matt Stonie’s 62 hot dogs in 2015. Instead of a new rivalry in the contest, Chestnut bounced back the next year by eating 70 hot dogs in 2016, then breaking his own record by eating 72 in 2017. And this year, bookies have him once again the favorite to win an 11th Mustard Belt.
Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest: Odds & Total
When it comes to the winner, oddsmakers are siding with Chestnut and nobody else. Joey Chestnut is -550 to win according to OddsShark.com, valued against the field at +325.
That’s right. Just Chestnut, as a huge favorite, over the entire field. Why the confidence in Chestnut? Because despite the achievements of his adversaries, Chestnut is the only human to post 70 hot dogs or better in a competition. And Stonie, who many thought would become a perennial contender, has fallen off the radar after finishing only 48 dogs in 2017.
If -550 is a little too risky, you could bet the total number of hot dogs eaten by this year’s champion. The total is set at 72.5, with the under (-220) favored against the over (+150). The record is 72.5, but Chestnut has previously posted a 73 in qualifying. That’s not to say it will happen, because nobody else has ever sniffed that number at this event, but it’s definitely on the table for Chestnut.
In the women’s competition, Miki Sudo is looking to win her fifth straight title. Sonya Thomas was the original alpha of the women’s contest, holding the current record at 45 dogs. But after winning the title the first three years of it’s existence, Thomas was replaced atop the podium by Sudo. She’s now separated herself from the rest of the women, winning by nine hot dogs and posting a 41 to take the 2017 title.
For Wednesday, Sudo is once again the odds favorite. Oddsmakers respect her as much as Chestnut by setting her odds at -550 to win, with a slight bump on the field at +400. The winner’s total for the women’s contest is set at 41.5, meaning that Sudo would need her best performance ever at the event for the over to cash. This is a solid bet for the contest, as both sides are priced at an even -120.
Despite the gambling interest in the hot dog contest, it’s not legal to place wagers on it in Las Vegas or any state that recently legalized sports betting. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a decent-sized gambling event. In a piece for ESPN.com, BetOnline told ESPN that the amount wagered on the hot dog eating contest is comprable to the money wagered on the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
Competitive, gluttonous, and slightly illegal. Doesn’t get more American than that. I like Chestnut and Sudo to both repeat, but their odds make them to pricey to wager. Chestnut has posted 70 and above at back-to-back contests, and only one other eater in Wednesday’s contest (Carmen Cincotti) has ever posted 60.
Prediction: Chestnut wins, under 72.5 dogs
Source: Heavy Sports