The festivities surrounding Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog contest start at 11 am ET on July 4th and wrap up around 1 PM ET. The event features iconic names such as Joey Chestnut, Geoffrey Esper, and Nick Wehry. Chestnut is currently the heavy favorite to win the event at -5000 odds per BetMGM.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest Odds
Happy Fourth of July! Across the United States, it’s a day full of family, friends and food, and at Coney Island in New York City, that’s certainly the case- to a much greater extent. That’s the site of the 51st annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, an event that could only ever take place in our great nation. We probably know who’s going to win, but that doesn’t take away from the thrill and fanfare, so let’s check out the odds and make some picks.
Joey Chestnut Over 72.5 Hot Dogs Eaten
Wayne Gretzky. Tom Brady. Michael Phelps. These athletes have separated themselves from the field as the undisputed GOAT in each of their respective sports, but none has ever dominated like Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. Since 2007, he’s won the mustard-colored belt 15 of 16 times, usually by a wide margin.
Last year, he had an off-year by his own lofty standards, consuming 63 HDB (Hot Dogs and Buns), winning by a margin of 16 over Geoffrey Esper. Chestnut’s 2022 performance was likely hampered by a broken leg, which likely affected his training process. He also paused to headlock a protester that came on stage early in the contest, breaking his rhythm.
FanDuel’s number of 72.5 is higher than what Chestnut did last year, he can crack it. Look at the last time he faced adversity- his sole loss in 2015. As true legends do, Chestnut came back better. He consumed 70 or more HDB in 6 consecutive contests, the only 70+ dog performances in history. That culminated with a World Record 76 in 2021, and he cracked the number of 72.5 three times.
I’m seeing 73.5 as a popular number, so the over on 72.5 (which is -112) is good value. Chestnut himself has promised to do “whatever it takes” to break his own record this year. With that target in mind, he’ll rip past 72.5 even if he doesn’t reach his own goal- I see nothing standing between Chestnut and another legendary performance.
Miki Sudo Over 44.5 Hot Dogs Eaten
Make no mistake, Chestnut isn’t the only dominant champ in the hot dog eating World. Miki Sudo, the defending Women’s champ, is nearly as unique as her Men’s counterpart- when Chestnut won by a margin of 16 last year, Sudo topped second-place Michelle Lesco by 14, eating 40 HDB. She’s third in the Major League Eating (MLE) rankings, the only woman in the top 8 and one of three in the top 25.
Sudo has won 9 of the last 10 Women’s contests, as she missed the 2021 event on maternity leave. She came back last year to win handily, albeit below her personal best of 48.5 HDB. I like her over as well, also at -112 odds, I think the year off broke her stride after setting the World Record in 2020, and she should munch a few more dogs this time out. Like Chestnut, she has expressed discontent with last year and set her target on 50, so this bet would hit even if she comes up a bit short.
Best Bet: Nick Wehry To Be Men’s Outright Winner (Without Chestnut)
While Chestnut and Sudo have accomplished feats of mass consumption that the mind can hardly fathom, and are completely in their own league, they aren’t the only superstars hitting the stage on Tuesday. Let’s take a look at some other incredible eaters in the Men’s field, and pick a runner-up.
One name that comes to mind is Matt Stonie, who took down Chestnut in 2015. While his numbers fell a lot after that legendary performance, and he hasn’t participated since 2019, he’s expected to be back in the field. I haven’t seen odds on him yet, but I’d toss a flier on him in this category if the wager becomes available.
Geoffrey Esper, the 2022 runner-up, has -210 odds to be the best Men’s eater after Chestnut. He’s #2 in the MLE ranks, the only non-Chestnut eater above Sudo, and was 6.5 HDB ahead of the field last time out. Still, that’s less than a dog per minute, not an insurmountable margin to overcome after a year of hard work.
From a value standpoint, I love Nick Wehry, at +380. He finished fourth in 2022, just one HDB behind James Webb. Webb has slipped to #10 in the MLE ranks while Wehry is behind the Chestnut-Sudo-Esper triumvirate at 4th, so I’m going to ride the hotter hand. Besides, he’s engaged to none other than Miki Sudo herself- he’s had a chance to learn from the best.