As fans of sports, watching the very best athletes dominate at the highest level is a large part of the draw. At this point, you have to appreciate what the likes of LeBron James, Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby have done for their respective sports. We'll grow up and tell our children and grandchildren that we watched these guys play live. Make sure not to forget about Joey Chestnut.
There might not be an active athlete that's more dominant in their current "sport" than competitive eater Joey Chestnut. What was once a thrilling rivalry with Takeru Kobayashi has now developed into one of the most dominant runs we've seen in sports. It's no surprise that Chestnut enters the 4th of July Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as a massive betting favorite.
Joey Chestnut is a massive favorite
Takeru Kobayashi won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest six straight years from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, Joey Chestnut shocked the world and beat Kobayashi. Chestnut went on to beat Kobayashi two more times before a contract dispute with Kobayashi and Major League Eating barred him from competing in the event.
After taking down Kobayashi in 2007, Joey Chestnut won eight straight contests. In 2015, Matthew Stonie shocked the competitive eating world and beat Chestnut. However, Chestnut returned to glory in 2016 and has now won six straight hot dog eating contests. On the 4th of July, Chestnut will look to win his seventh straight and 15th overall.
To the surprise of nobody, Chestnut is a massive favorite to retain the mustard belt. Chestnut is a -3000 favorite to win the competition, while the field is 10-to-1. Last year, Chestnut defeated second-place finisher Geoff Esper by 26 hot dogs.
For obvious reasons, playing -3000 odds on a man eating hot dogs doesn't appeal to the casual bettor. For those people, there's an over/under set on the number of hot dogs Chestnut will eat. Currently at BetMGM, you can bet on whether Chestnut will eat over or under 74.5 hot dogs.
Chestnut set the world record last year by eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He's gone over 74.5 hot dogs in back-to-back years, as he ate 75 in 2020. Chestnut has improved his hot dog consumption on a year-by-year basis since regaining the belt in 2016, with the exception of 2019. Hot weather and excessive humidity were a factor that year, but it doesn't look like weather should have a significant impact on the competitors this year.
Miki Sudo a huge favorite on women's side
In 2011, Nathan's introduced a woman's competition in the hot dog eating contest. Miki Sudo won her first mustard belt in 2014 and then went on to win seven straight contests on the woman's side. She did not compete in 2021 because she was pregnant.
Now a mother, Sudo returns as an overwhelming favorite on the women's side in 2022. Sudo is -5000 to win the contest, with the field available at 11-to-1 odds.
With Sudo out of the contest last year, Michelle Lesco took home the title. She ate 30.75 hot dogs, which pales in comparison to the 48.5 hot dogs Sudo ate in 2020. Lesco will defend her title this year and she's viewed as Sudo's main competition.
The over/under for number of hot dogs Sudo will eat is set at 46.5 hot dogs. Sudo has gone under this number in six of her seven wins, averaging just over 38 hot dogs per year. However, she did go over this number in her most recent win. With not much competition expected from the other competitors, perhaps her main motivation is to beat her previous record.
Sudo has been eating at a high level since returning from maternity leave. In the 2022 Egg Roll Eating World Championship, Sudo ate 28.75 egg rolls, which doubled the next closest woman. In the 2022 Donut Hole Eating Championship, Sudo ate 221 donut holes in eight minutes. The next closest woman ate 116.