Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Brady. Woods. Jordan. Chestnut. The best at what they do.

    Another year has gone and the above sentence rings more and more true. As we pay tribute to America we admire everything that 6-foot tall, 230-pound Joseph Christian Chestnut has done for the world of competitive eating. The mild-mannered machine of an eater from Indiana has now conquered the Super Bowl of competitive eating a record FIFTEEN times from 2007 to current, with only one defeat in the last 15 tries at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating greatness. Last year he walked to another victory even with a less-than-stellar performance, ONLY downing 63 HDB (hot dogs and buns). He won the 2022 event on crutches due to a ruptured tendon injury.

    As we approach another 4th of July and look to Joey Chestnut to continue to be our beacon of hope and steadiness in this crazy world, it’s also time for some betting talk around the contest. Just like every other, I can guarantee two things on the 4th – fireworks and Chestnut taking down the competition at the corner of Surf and Stillwell on Coney Island…or is there any chance of a new champion on either side? Let’s digest.

    WHO CAN STICK WITH CHESTNUT?

    At this point in the Joey Chestnut reign of dominance, the only question is how many dogs will be downed and how large will his margin of victory be. Because of this, a simple bet on Joey Chestnut to win is quite useless, especially seeing him healthy and on two legs this time around. Based on where you look his odds to win are in the neighborhood of -2500 despite a pedestrian win in 2022, meaning a $100 bet on Chestnut to win (yawn) only yields a $4 return. If there’s any other male competitor to look to do the unthinkable it’s your boy Geoffrey Esper – the perennial runner-up in betting odds is listed at +750 followed by Nick Wehry at +1000.

    Has anything changed to narrow the margin between Chestnut, Esper, and the rest of the field? If so, it’s marginal and the deficit is still a couple of touchdowns. For your true value plays and getting the best action this year, look to over/under, the women’s competition and prop plays.

    WHERE THE ACTION IS

    A part of the face-stuffing debauchery we can all get on board with for 10 minutes – the total glizzys downed by Chestnut the champion. The current betting line for Chestnut is over/under 73.5 HDB in the 10-minute hot dog sprint. In 2021 the competition returned to Coney Island on a warm sunny day. The environmental change and rebirth of the crowd only fueled Joey to top his record with 76 in 2021. From there, his injury-plagued 2022 tally of 63 HDB gave him an easy win amidst the adversity. As for the early forecast for NYC on the fourth, it looks to be seasonably warm but not too hot for chowing down, so I like his chances on the shrunken total for this over bet. Other notable over/unders that I have my eyes on for competitors outside of Chestnut are Esper at 50.5, Wehry at 47.5, and Gideon Oji at 40.5 HDB.

    SUDO’S SOLO DOMINATION

    Not to be outdone on the women’s side, the Miki Sudo run of championships is now at eight total. Miki returned to the game after pregnancy kept her out in 2021 and reminded everyone why she is the GOAT on the female side of competitive eating, downing an impressive 40 HDB on her way to a blowout victory. Miki and her eater husband Nick Wehry are primed to defend the throne, and her odds are in the absurd -5000 range to win as expected, even more of a favorite than Joey Chestnut. Miki’s 2023 over/under is set at 43.5, and her odds of breaking the women’s record of 48.5 are set at +170 if you want a plus-money play. Whichever way you look, it;’s just another gluttonous battle for second place.

    THE PLAYS for the 4TH

    Joey Chestnut – OVER 73.5: Out for revenge from the injured 2022 output.

    Esper – OVER 50.5: Quietly and consistently the second-best eater out.

    Gideon Oji – UNDER 40.5: Mixing in an under on a competitor that may have peaked in recent years.

    Miki Sudo – OVER 43.5: The reign continues.

    Nick Wehry (-130) vs Miki Sudo…but the husband wins the bragging rights at home.

    THE DEETS

    Where to watch: ESPN – 10:30 am ET (women) and 12 pm ET (men) on July 4th

    Why to watch: The Nathan’s contest is a July 4th fixture, equal parts disgusting and mystifying to observe in real-time. 

    What’s on my dog: ketchup on one side of the bun, mustard on the other.

    Winner’s Share: $10,000 and more importantly…the Mustard Belt.

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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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