NJ Sports Bettors Can Get A Taste Of The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Excitement, Minus The Food

Hey, Garden State bettors, now you can bet the favorite and the dog, together. Possibly with mustard.

Joey Chestnut, the Babe Ruth, Floyd Mayweather, and Michael Jordan of the hot-dog eating world, is in the NJ sports betting spotlight this week. That’s right,  New Jersey online sportsbooks are permitted to take wagers on the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest taking place July 4 from Coney Island, NY.

Yes, New Jersey online sports bettors, you can wager on this epic 10-minute chow down at DraftKings Sportsbook.  The event routinely draws 30,000 screaming spectators.

Live crowds return this year, although the focus may be one man versus himself.

No doubt about it, Joey Chestnut is the chalk

Chestnut is the prohibitive moneyline chalk at -5000 compared to +1000 for the field, but his personal best quest will entice betting.

Chestnut is the world record-holder of this event, consuming 75 dogs with buns in the 10-minute competition window last year.

Can he employ a different version of “dogging it” to add one more?

The over-under for hot dogs eaten is 73.5, with the over at – 230 and the under at +165. And … hold the laughter, that line has moved, from -120 on both sides to a clear direction.

Here’s an important betting nugget: a hot dog that’s in the contestant’s mouth as time expires counts.

That helped Chestnut reach 75 last year. By the way, if you like Chestnut’s chances of breaking the mark, DraftKings is offering an odds boost.

Bettors in NJ, Colorado, and Indiana can get boosted odds of +125 with a max wager of $25.

The sentiment here is that “Jaws” (no, not former Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski) will seek to break his own record and annex a 14th Mustard Belt victory.

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A closer look at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Chestnut’s quest is the hot dog eating world version of Ruth stalking 60 homers. Add Mayweather becoming 50-0 as a boxer and Jordan securing a double three-peat with the Chicago Bulls to the list.

Food for thought: Chestnut has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million, all from eating competitions and endorsements.

The event has been conducted since 1916 but gained added acclaim with ESPN televising it and sportsbooks posting it. See what PASPA denied us?

A novelty approach to NJ sports betting

Wagers for this event are in the Novelty section at DraftKings and provide a chuckle. But they still must be handicapped.

If bettors didn’t have to lay $100 to win $2, they might swallow the spreadsheet whole, mustard and all.

“We do get some pretty good money on this,” said a grinning  Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. “You get five hundred here, five hundred there and it adds up for you.

“But even if this is light-hearted and a novelty, people put up their money expecting to win. Nobody is giving away their money.

Avello said as far as setting the eating contest odds goes, there is history and the fact that Joey Chestnut has been competing for years.

“We think he’s probably going to go after the record. But he doesn’t have the competition pushing him,” said Avello. “That’s why it might be tougher for him to break that record, but he’s going to try.

Factors for NJ bettors to consider

There are two wild cards that could affect those Nathan’s hot dog totals.

Chestnut said he missed the live crowd last year, which might have propelled him to another level.

He may have, literally, fed off their enthusiasm once he backed off a blistering 46 dogs in the first five minutes (probably the greatest five-minute hot-dog eating stretch ever. Seriously).

But he mentioned something else in the post-match interview. With no spectators and fewer competitors, there were fewer dogs cooked and they all came out hot. A temperature-hot dog may go down faster than a room-temperature wiener.

Will the dogs be as hot as he likes them? Can that change the total a little on either side?

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is serious business

In some cases, it defines stature.

Takeru Kobayashi of Japan won this contest six straight times and has been called the “godfather of competitive eating.” He had a signature shimmy and reigned as the world’s Top Dog until the American gunslinger took his place.

Chestnut dethroned him in a 2007 competition so close that ESPN commentators screamed about Chestnut being up “a fraction of a dog” in the waning seconds. He prevailed with 66 dogs eaten.

Since winning there, Chestnut’s gone on to amass 13 Mustard Belts and added nine more franks to his record-setting totals.

All-around chow hounds

To maintain stature, a hot-dog eating legend must display versatility. Here are some of Chestnut’s world records, according to the website majorleagueeating.com:

  • 2011 – 23 Philly Cheesesteaks consumed in 10 minutes.
  • 2013 – 141 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes
  • 2017 –  55 glazed donuts in eight minutes
  • 2019 – 81 waffles (Eggo-style) in eight minutes

Other bets are materializing in this event

Darron Breeden, who finished second last year, will be in a matchup with Geoffrey Esper.

Nick Wehry, who was third, will be isolated in a head-to-head battle with Gideon Oji

One senses the serious approach handicappers must give a fun event.

“Esper eats in the 50s and Breeden eats in the low 60s,” Avello said of their hot-dog consumption. “We’re looking to pair together guys who are equivalent in eating.

“On the women’s side, we don’t have the girls who can kill it,” he added, regarding the pregnant and seven-time champion Miki Sudo bypassing this event.

“Michelle Lesco comes in around 32 dogs. It will probably be her against the field.”

Lesco is the favorite on the DraftKings board at -1000 while the field odds are +500.

However, there is no bet posted on the Tums but take the “over” if you see it.

Same for heartburn and indigestion props.

Admire Chestnut from a distance but don’t treat him to hot dogs. It would run close to $200.

DraftKings bettors will see more of this in the pools section with free entry and a $25,000 pot.

Here are some of the questions:

  • Who wins the women’s championship.?
  • Will Chestnut break his own record?
  • Will the women’s record of 48.5 be broken?
  • How many men will eclipse 50 dogs?
  • Where will Esper finish?

There’s a new definition of All You Can Eat, And bet.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini





About the Author

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.