Each Independence Day, Nathan’s Hot Dogs hosts an eating contest. To secure a spot at the championship, pro eaters from around the country participate in local qualifiers.
The winner of the main event takes home the coveted Mustard Belt and $10,000.
Who will be the lucky winner this year?
I take a look at the most likely victors in the men’s and women’s contests and make picks for some of the other markets available at the top entertainment betting sites.
Joey Chestnut Men’s Champ
|Will Joey Chestnut win Nathan’s 2020 contest?|
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is heavily favored at -1000. Chestnut has 12 Mustard Belts to his name, losing only one time in the last 13 years.
In 2019, Chestnut housed 71 hot dogs, while the closest contender ate only 50 hot dogs. In 2018, Chestnut outpaced the second-place winner by 10 dogs.
I have no doubt Chestnut will win. However, the payout line isn’t the best, in my opinion. If you want to bet to say you won, Chestnut is a great pick for the winner of the men’s event.
If you are looking to make some cash, I would hold onto your money. Place the money on a different bet for the contest.
Miko Sudo Women’s Champ
|Will Miko Sudo win Nathan’s 2020 contest?|
Sudo has taken the Mustard Belt home for the last 6 years. Miko came into the main event back in 2014, upsetting the reigning champion Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas by roughly 7 hot dogs. Sudo has since held onto her title against Thomas.
From previous performances, Sudo is a shoo-in like her male counterpart. Sudo is favored at -600. Sudo consistently increases the gap between her and the second-place competitor. The only way I can see Sudo losing is if the Black Widow returns to give her a run for her money. It is highly unlikely we will see the Black Widow come out of retirement.
Thomas has not competed in the main event since 2017. If Thomas does resurface, I would take the line for +350 against Sudo.
The Over and Under
How many hot dogs will be consumed? Good question.
|Men’s Winner Hot Dogs Eaten|
|Over 71 ½ hot dogs||-140|
|Under 71 ½ hot dogs||+100|
(as of 6/19/20)
|Women’s Winner Hot Dogs Eaten|
|Over 37 ½ hot dogs||-140|
|Under 37 ½ hot dogs||+100|
In the men’s competition, the record of hot dogs eaten in ten minutes is 74 hot dogs by Chestnut. Chestnut’s average number of hot dogs (including the year he lost to Matt Stonie) is about 65 hot dogs. Until 2017, Chestnut did not eclipse the 70 hot dog mark. Chestnut has only eaten more than 71.5 hot dogs twice. Other competitors have yet to break the 70 hot dog mark.
On the women’s side, there is a much stronger possibility the female champion will eat more than 37.5 hot dogs. Sudo consistently puts up 37 hot dogs. There were a couple years she put up 38 hot dogs, with her strongest performance at 41 hot dogs. Assuming she wins again, the over isn’t looking too bad.
Something to consider is hot dog availability for training. Many meat plants across America have shut down due to COVID outbreaks. Nathan’s announced the manufacturer for their hot dogs shut down in April due to coronavirus concerns. With low availability of Nathan’s hot dogs and possibly other hot dog brands, can our champs train enough in preparation?
|Will men’s contest go into overtime?|
Nathan’s contest was shortened to 10 minutes back in 2008. There has not been an overtime since 2008. Mustard Belt holders have outpaced the competition enough.
In some cases, the champ edged out the closest competitions by a fraction of a hot dog. An overtime is unlikely, but hey, if you want to try to win big, take the overtime for +800.
The Bottom Line
There are some clear winners here. The question is, how do you want to bet your money? Sudo and Chestnut are top picks, but the return isn’t that great on the money you put down. The return on the overtime line is also meager.
The best return on this contest is the line on how many hot dogs will be eaten. According to Business Insider, hot dog sales soared by 120% during the pandemic.
With the increased hot dog buying habits of Americans and shortage of beef impacting hot dog production, I would bet on the under both in the male and female category. Less access to hot dogs means less training for contestants. Ask any pro eater contender. They will say, “You have to train for these events.”
Bet smart. Bet the under.