Americans will eat millions of hot dogs on the July 4 holiday on Thursday, but it’s probably safe to say that no one in the USA, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, will come close to how many Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest legend Joey Chestnut will down during the annual event on Independence Day at the original Nathan’s restaurant on Coney Island.
Oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com are quite confident Chestnut will win as a prop simply asks if he will: Yes is at -1000 with No at +550 on those odds. Chestnut has won this contest 11 times. The only time he hasn’t since 2007 was 2015 when Matt Stonie finished with 62 hot dogs eaten and Chestnut 60. Maybe he had indigestion that day? Chestnut set a record with 74 hot dogs eaten last year in the 10 minutes allotted. He claims to gain more than 20 pounds during this contest.
Of course, these competitors aren’t eating these dogs like you and I. While we generally take our time and might like a lot of condiments like ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, chili, etc., in this contest it’s just the bun and the dog, and the competitors dunk them in water to make them easier to wolf down.
You can bet on several individual props on Chestnut. For example, he’s given an over/under of 9.5 hot dogs eaten in the first minute, with the over a -165 favorite. Can you imagine eating 10 hot dogs in 60 seconds?! At the halfway mark (five minutes), Chestnut’s over/under is 45.5, with the under a -135 favorite. The highest over/under for total hot dogs eaten by the winner is 73.5, with both sides at -120.
There are a few head-to-head props as well. Chestnut is -10.5 hot dogs at -115 against Carmen Cincotti +10.5 at -125. Thus, Chestnut would have to eat at least 11 more to pay off that prop. Cincotti was second last year with 64. Chestnut is -750 head-to-head against Stonie with no “hot dog handicap” like against Cincotti.
The women have their own legend in Miki Sudo, who has won this event the past five years. In 2018, she finished with 37 hot dogs, nine better than No. 2 Michelle Lesco. However, the women’s record is 45 hot dogs by Sonya Thomas in 2012. She didn’t compete last year. Sudo’s best is 41 in 2017. Sudo is -1600 to win and the rest of the field is +700.
For some reason, PETA has a problem with this contest and there’s a prop on whether a contestant will be interrupted by PETA during it. No is -1600 and Yes is +700. PETA probably will have a presence regardless, but the only interruption was in 2016 when a couple of protesters made it on stage. The police are very aware of the protesters nowadays so it’s unlikely that happens again.