It is less a question of how but how many with Joey (Jaws) Chestnut and the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, which Major League Eating’s top-ranked carnivore has won nine of the last 10 years.
The traditional July 4 contest takes place in Coney Island, New York, on Tuesday, with Chestnut listed at -350 against Matt Stonie (+225) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Stonie is the only person to beat Chestnut over the last 10 years. In an undercard prop, up-and-coming Carmen Cincotti (-200) is favored head-to-head against Geoffrey Esper (+150).
With Chestnut coming up short on price, there might be more value in the various over/under totals. Chestnut owns the record of 73.5 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes (set in a 2016 qualifier. The over on whether the men’s champion will eat 71.5 is a fairly plump, juicy +225. The most even total is 67.5, with the over at -150 and the under at +110.
At the other end of the totals spectrum, the men’s champion eating fewer than 63.5 hot dogs pays +275. In both 2014 and 2015, the winner was below that benchmark.
Cincotti’s personal best on the Major League Eating circuit is 42 hot dogs. Esper has eaten as many at 30.5 in an MLE competition.
On the women’s side, three-time defending champion Miki Sudo is listed at -400 against +250 underdog Sonya Thomas. Sudo won last year with 38.5 and has set her sights on Thomas’ all-time record of 45, set in 2012.
Reaching that would also put bettors over on the over/under of 39.5 dogs, which hasn’t been surpassed since Thomas’ aforementioned 2012 performance. The under pays -160, with the over at +120. Thomas has told the media that her best days are behind her, so if anyone’s going over it’s likely Sudo.
There are also some fun props, including +750 on an eat-off being required (it’s happened just once since the 10-minute time limit was introduced) and a special on whether a contestant will be interrupted by a protester from PETA. Yes pays +500, to No’s -900.