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2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Odds and Picks – Can Chestnut Be Beaten?

Joey Chestnut after contest
Joey Chestnut is once again favored at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th. Photo from Michael Bisberg (Flickr)
  • A number of prop wagers are being offered on the annual July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
  • Will reigning champs Joey Chestnut or Miki Sudo be beaten? How many hot dogs will the winners consume? 
  • Analysis of these and other props and betting advice follows in the story below

In the USA, July 4th is about beer, fireworks and the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Joey Chestnut is the king of consuming hot dogs. The 36-year-old from Fulton County, Ky. has captured the last four Nathan’s titles, and 12 of the past 13 contests.

Chestnut is an overwhelming -1600 odds-on favorite to wear the championship belt again in 2020.  Will he shatter his world record of 74 hot dogs eaten in the 10-minute time limit?

The oddsmakers aren’t as solidly behind defending women’s champion Miki Sudo. She’s still a stellar favorite at -850, though.

These are just two among a series of prop wagers being offered on this festival of gluttony that’s become a staple of Americana.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Men’s Championship Props

Prop Contestant and Odds Contestant and Odds
Head-to-Head Winner Joey Chestnut (-1600) Field (+700)
Head-to-Head Spread Joey Chestnut -15.5 (-145) 2nd Place Winner +15.5 (+105)
Head-to-Head Spread Geoffrey Esper +2.5 (-145) Darron Breeden -2.5 (+105)
Head-to-Head Spread Matt Stonie +1.5 (-150) Geoffrey Esper -1.5 (+110)

Odds taken June 29th

Chomping at the Bite

Barring some unforeseen circumstances, Chestnut is going to win again this year. When it comes to downing hot dogs, opponents don’t relish the chance to compete against this legend. Compared to Chestnut, they simply can’t cut the mustard. They know that once they get behind him, they’ll never ketchup.

That being said, there’s no point in placing a wager on Chestnut to win at -1600. However, the head-to-head spread between him and the second place winner looks like a gift bet.

Last year, Chestnut dominated the field. He downed 21 more wieners and buns than any other competitor. It was his widest margin of victory over the past four years.

His average margin of victory over that span is exactly 15 hot dogs. But when challenged, Chestnut usually rises above.

Pick: Joey Chestnut -15.5 (-145)

Nathan’s Takes It Indoors

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest will take on a different look. It’s moving indoors.

Normally it’s held outdoors on the Coney Island boardwalk. Thousands of adoring fans come out to watch the competitors chow down on a riser in front of them.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Winners 2015-19

Year Men’s Champion (Hot Dogs Eaten) Women’s Champion (Hot Dogs Eaten)
2019 Joey Chestnut (71) Miki Sudo (31)
2018 Joey Chestnut (74) Miki Sudo (37)
2017 Joey Chestnut (72) Miki Sudo (41)
2016 Joey Chestnut (70) Miki Sudo (38.5)
2015 Matt Stonie (62) Miki Sudo (38)

This year, air-conditioned indoor comfort in a spectator-free facility will be the order of the day. Only five competitors instead of the usual 15 will participate.

Will we be able to hear the eaters as they chew? Might the climate-controlled environment offer a better atmosphere for eating than the torrid July heat?

Joey Chestnut Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Props

Outcome Over Odds Under Odds
Total Hot Dogs Eaten By Chestnut In First Minute Over 9.5 (-250) Under 9.5 (+170)
Total Hot Dogs Eaten By Chestnut At 5 Minute Mark Over 45.5 (-160) Under 45.5 (+120)
Total Hot Dogs Eaten By Winner Over 73.5 (-120) Under 73.5 (-120)

Chestnut is truly the last great old-school sports dynasty. He’s right there with the Boston Celtics of the 1960s, the Montreal Canadiens of the 1950s and Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR team in the 2000s.

Like Babe Ruth, Chestnut is clearly fond of downing hot dogs. And like when Ruth was baseball’s home run king, the records that Chestnut breaks are his own.

A year after he was dethroned by Matt Stonie in a stunning 2016 upset, Chestnut set a world record by powering down 70 hot dogs. The next year, he scarfed 72 wieners and buns.

Finally, in 2018, Chestnut established the current standard, devouring 74 hot dogs.

He slipped back a bit to 71 hot dogs last year. The problem at the moment is that there doesn’t seem to be a legitimate threat to Chestnut’s kingdom. He might need that challenge to push down more dogs this year.

Pick: Under 73.5 hot dogs (-120)

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Women’s Championship Props

Outcome Odds Odds
Head-To-Head Winner Miki Sudo (-8500) Field (+450)
Head-To-Head Spread Miki Sudo -6.5 (-175) Michelle Lesco +6.5 (+135)
Total Hot Dogs Eaten By Winner Over 36.5 (-150) Under 36.5 (+110)
Total Hot Dogs Eaten By Winner Over 37.5 (-125) Under 37.5 (-115)

Hey Miki You’re So Fine

Women’s champ Sudo is actually enjoying a longer streak than Chestnut. She’s won every Nathan’s title since 2014.

Sudo’s total hot dogs eaten have dropped every year since she ate a career-high 41 in 2017. She only beat Michelle Lesco by five last year, and has averaged a 6.5-hot dog margin since 2016.

Lesco is getting better at competitive eating every year. If you don’t feel confident betting her outright to beat Sudo, take the price on her in the head-to-head wager.

Pick: Michelle Lesco +6.5 (+135)

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Props

Outcome Odds Odds
Will There Be A Recount Yes (+550) No (-1000)
Will The Be An Eat-Off? Yes (+750) No (-2500)
Will A Contestant Be Interrupted By PETA During The Contest? Yes (+800) No (-2500)

They’ve held the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest since 1916, and just twice has overtime been required. That was in 1980 and again in 2008.

The odds are heavily in favor of no eat-off.

Pick: No Eat-Off (-2500)

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