Opening 2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Odds – Joey Chestnut Heavily Favored Again

Joey Chestnut downing hot dogs
Joey Chestnut has emerged as a heavy favorite to claim a record 13th Mustard Belt in the opening Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest odds at BetOnline. Photo by Michael (Flickr).
  • Joey Chestnut, Miki Sudo open as heavy favorites in 2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Props 
  • Can Chestnut pay out as a favorite to eat over 71.5 hot dogs at this year’s event?
  • Odds likely to tilt in favor of the defending champions but unsung challengers can’t be overlooked

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a Fourth of July tradition, attracting a television audience in excess of 1.3 million in 2019. While this year’s event is still months away, the betting action is already heating up, with reigning champion Joey Chestnut pegged as an early -900 favorite to claim a record 13th title in the entertainment odds.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest Props & Odds

Prop Yes Odds No Odds
Will Joey Chestnut Win the 2020 Nathan’s Contest? -900 +500
Will Miki Sudo Win the 2020 Nathan’s Contest? -550 +325
Will the Men’s Contest go to Overtime/Eat Off? +800 -2500

Odds taken on February 18, 2020.

Chestnut Still the Man to Beat

Chestnut is a legend in competitive eating circles. The 36-year-old American has established no fewer than 48 world records while chowing down on everything from deep-fried asparagus to boysenberry pie. Chestnut’s dominance extends to the annual hot dog competition in Coney Island, where he consumed a record 74 hot dogs in 2018.

Overall, Chestnut has reached the 70-hot dog mark in each of the past four years, fueling strong -140 odds of this year’s winner eating OVER 71.5 hot dogs.

With Chestnut well established as a household name among both casual and hardcore fans of Major League Eating, the odds of him taking home a 13th title this summer are likely to shorten further from their already strong position at -900.

Chestnut has claimed victory in eight Major League Eating events since last summer’s win in Coney Island

The California native’s recent exploits are also likely to drive sports bettors to take the OVER on the number of hot dogs eaten. And with good reason. Chestnut has claimed victory in eight Major League Eating events since last summer’s win in Coney Island, with his most recent triumph coming earlier this month at the Inaugural Blue Runner Foods World Red Beans and Rice Eating Championship in New Orleans, where he slurped down a world record 39.5 ten-ounce bowls in just eight minutes.

Esper Emerging as a Worthy Rival

However, there will be no shortage of rivals seeking to take Chestnut’s crown on the Fourth of July. Most notable among them is Geoff Esper, who finished third at last year’s Hot Dog Eating Contest with 47 hot dogs eaten, but who has handed Chestnut a trio of defeats since June of last year. That recent success was capped by an epic win at the 2019 US National Buffalo Wing Eating Championship, where Esper devoured 221 wings in 12 minutes, edging Chestnut by five wings.

With Esper on the rise, there is plenty of value to be found in the +500 odds of someone other than Chestnut claiming victory in the men’s competition.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest Over/Under Odds

Prop Line Over Odds Under Odds
Men’s Winner – Hot Dogs Eaten 71.5 -140 +100
Women’s Winner – Hot Dogs Eaten 37.5 -140 +100

Sudo Favored to Claim Seventh Straight Mustard Belt

Over on the women’s side, Miki Sudo is expected to return to Coney Island this summer, and sits as a heavy -550 favorite to claim a seventh straight Mustard Belt. The 35-year-old New Yorker has dominated since storming on to the women’s competitive eating scene in 2013, and is currently listed at No. 6 on the Major League Eating overall rankings.

While Sudo is clearly in the eating game for the long haul, she has yet to make her mark on the MLE record book. Indeed, Sudo’s victory in 2019 came by a dramatically reduced margin, with the 24-year-old earning the win while consuming just 31 hot dogs, well short of her career-high of 41 set back in 2017.

Lesco a Rising Star

That has impacted the odds in totals betting ahead of this year’s competition, with the women’s winner pegged as a -140 bet to eat UNDER 37.5 hot dogs. With no competitor on the horizon poised to challenge the record set by Sonya Thomas in 2012, when she demolished 45 hot dogs, the odds are likely to tilt in favor of the UNDER.

However, Michelle “Cardboard Shell” Lesco is quickly establishing herself as a rising star in MLE with three straight second-place finishes in Coney Island and world records in pasta eating, mayonnaise eating, and hands-free hot dog eating, and represents a challenge in Sudo’s bid to maintain her lofty position atop the odds board.

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