4th of July Hotdog Contest: America's Hero Joey Chestnut Betting Favorite
The Fourth of July is an American tradition built off of freedom, fireworks, and many, MANY hot dogs. Just ask Joey Chestnut, who has been the symbol of shameless hot dog consumption for 15 years and counting.
This Independence Day, Chestnut will once again take the stage at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The 38-year-old will look to add another title belt and set a new record for the most wieners and buns consumed in a ten-minute period.
Joey Chestnut: Hot Dog Eating Extraordinaire
Even if you're not one to gather around your television to watch grown men shove hot dogs down their gullets, you've likely heard of Joey Chestnut. After all, he's likely one of the greatest champions in the history of competitive anything.
Chestnut first competed in the Coney Island tradition in 2005, the same year he began competitive eating. His first hot dog triumph came two years later when he defeated Takeru Kobayashi — winner of the previous six contests — by a count of 66-63.
Following his triumph over the most celebrated competitive eater at the time, Chestnut began a run of unmatched dominance. The Kentucky native won the next three events, including a record-setting 68 hot dog performance in 2009. Once they split up men and women in separate contests, Chestnut proceeded to win every year except 2015, when Matt Stonie narrowly won 62-60.
In 2021, Chestnut put up his best performance yet. The eating legend put down 76 hot dogs to set a new world record in his astonishing 14th championship.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Betting Odds
Even with new challengers entering the field each year, no one besides Stonie has been able to top Chestnut. Sure enough, Jaws is the runaway favorite to win his 15th Mustard Belt on the Fourth of July.
Chestnut is -5000 to win Monday's competition. Four other competitors are given odds, with the closest being Geoffrey Esper at +1000. Esper is the second-ranked hot dog eater according to the official Major League Eating rankings, but his personal record is 51 hot dogs and buns. For comparison, that's 25 less than Chestnut's total from last year.
If Chestnut chokes (no pun intended), Esper is easily the top choice to dethrone him. Other competitors with massive underdog odds include James Webb (+1700), Nick Wehry (+2000), and Darron Breeden (+4000).
While Webb and Breeden are relative unknowns in competitive eating, Wehry is the husband of Miki Sudo, whose pregnancy prevented her from winning an eighth consecutive hot dog eating contest on the women's side.
Will Anyone Out-Eat Jaws?
It's easy to have mixed feelings watching Chestnut, and we're not talking about those feelings in your stomach. On the one hand, there is something incredible about seeing someone dominate so consistently, constantly pushing his own record one dog at a time. On the other hand, moments like Stonie's upset in 2015 remind us that seeing the underdog pull off the victory is what sports are all about.
That said, it's hard to imagine Chestnut without another belt. There is no alternative competitor who has eaten anything close to what Joey eats on an annual basis. Realistically, it will take an epic collapse from Jaws in order for the competition to surpass him.
Will Chestnut set a new world record? That remains to be seen. But there's really no question in who will be lifting the Mustard Belt this Independence Day.
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