Frankly speaking, it looked like Joey Chestnut was at the end of his rope. The perennial champion at the July 4 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest had his crown taken away in 2015 by Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who ended Chestnut’s nine-year run by consuming 62 hot dogs (bun included) in just 10 minutes – two more than the former champ. Chestnut’s legion of fans feared the worst.

Then, the miracle: Chestnut came back and won last year’s contest by a country mile, pounding back 70 hot dogs, while Stonie could only stomach 53. And that was after Chestnut set the record of 73 dogs at a qualifying event just days before. Now Chestnut is on a quest for his 10th title, and the prestigious Mustard belt that goes with it. At press time, Chestnut is available at –450 in a head-to-head matchup with Stonie (+275); you’ll find these odds and more in the Entertainment section at Bovada Sports.


Dinner for One

It’s possible that Chestnut just wasn’t feeling up to it in 2015. The man they call “Jaws” had recently split up with his fiancee, long-time girlfriend Neslie Ricasa – you might recall how Chestnut proposed to Ricasa after winning the 2014 contest. But Chestnut came back and attacked last year’s event with relish, training hard and obliterating the competition on the Major League Eating circuit before reclaiming his throne.

We haven’t had much of a chance to see Chestnut and Stonie compete face-to-face, but both gentlemen have been setting records this year. On June 4, Chestnut downed 25-1/4 ice-cream sandwiches in six minutes; days earlier, Stonie set a new benchmark for Æbleskivers by hoovering up 87 of the delicious Danish pancake puffs. Be that as it may, Chestnut has seen his odds climb from –350 in recent action. There may be some value in fading the champ after all.

You can also bet on how many hot dogs the winner will eat, with multiple options for the over/under. Believe it or not, the over is a –175 favorite on the total of 71.5 hot dogs, which is ambitious. Don’t forget about the women, either: Three-time and defending champion Miki Sudo is a –400 favorite in her head-to-head matchup with former champ Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas. ESPN2 will have live coverage starting at noon Eastern.


*Odds as of June 29, 2017