July 4 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Odds and Betting Information
by Alan Matthews - 7/3/2010
Well, this is a first for me: a betting breakdown of a competitive eating competition. Ah, but it’s the Super Bowl for eaters as it’s the Nathan's International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. This event put this “sport” on the map.
Unfortunately, the Brett Favre of the eating world, Takeru Kobayashi, has apparently retired from the sport. The official Major League Eating (MLE) site – I just love there’s an official site -- announced on June 28 that Kobayashi, the world No. 2, won’t be at the 2010 Nathan’s Contest.
“Takeru Kobayashi is currently not scheduled to compete in the 2010 Nathan’s Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest,” the statement said. “Major League Eating has sought to arrive at an agreement with Kobayashi, but contract negotiations have reached an impasse.”
So it’s obviously about money.
The top-ranked American Joey Chestnut now holds the world record for hot dogs eaten with 68, which he devoured in 10 minutes last year in winning this event (for you non math majors, that’s 6.8 hot dogs per minute!). For a hot dog to be counted as finished, competitors must consume both the hot dog and the bun. Kobayashi still holds the world record for eating cow brains, lobster rolls and rice balls. Ugh!
Competitors still think Kobayashi could make a last-minute entrance. Sound like a certain No. 4?
"It shouldn't make a difference for my game plan," said Chestnut, a Californian, listed at –1000 at Sportsbook.com to take the title. "Three years ago, there was rumbling that he wouldn't show up because he said he had a jaw injury. But he eventually came, and it was a great contest. But it's just an annoying little thing to think about. I just have to make sure I'm ready."
The second favorite for Sunday’s pig-out is Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti , the world’s fourth-ranked eater, at +700. Ah, but he is called “Deep Dish” for a reason because his thing is pizza: Bertoletti holds world records in both the 24-inch pizza category and the 16-inch category. The Chicagoan was third behind Chestnut and Kobayashi last year at Nathan’s.
Tim “Eater X” Janus is the third favorite at +800. He finished fourth last year by choking down 53 hot dogs. He should be a crowd favorite considering he is from Brooklyn.
“My goal is to eat in such a way that I feel like I'm eating quickly,” he said. “There's a rhythm to eating hot dogs well. Your hands are working. Your jaw is working. Your throat is working. And hopefully they're all working together."
Now that’s a quote! Supposedly Janus is the world record-holder in tamale eating, downing 71 in 12 minutes.
The Nathan’s contest, held since 1916, has become a bit of a phenomenon – last year it drew 35,000 people on site and approximately 1.5 million viewers on ESPN2. It will be on ESPN this year from noon to 1 p.m. EST.
This year’s contest added a new, fitting sponsor: Pepto-Bismol. And don’t even think of bringing those vuvuzelas if you are going. MLE banned those World Cup horns, but spectators will be given Pepto-pink thunder-sticks.
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