This Sunday on the nation’s birthday, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut puts his Mustard Belt on the line in an attempt to win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition for the fourth consecutive year. According to the oddsmakers, he shouldn’t have much of a problem devouring the most wieners as he is the overwhelming -1000 favorite.
It seems like yesterday when Chestnut did the USA proud when he defeated six-time champ Takeru Kobayashi to win what is considered the Super Bowl of competitive eating. Currently the top ranked eater by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (yes there is such a thing), Chestnut’s road to his fourth title seems to have gotten easier as Kobayashi most likely won’t be competing do to a contract dispute (yes, these guys get paid for stuffing their faces).
So without Kobayashi, is there anyone that can seriously contend for the Mustard Belt? Let’s look at the top challengers and there odds.
Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti (+700) “Deep Dish” polished off 55 hot dogs and buns to take third place last year. A definite up and comer in competitive eating, Bertoletti is currently ranked #3 by the IFOCE. He is entering this year’s competition with some great momentum; in May he became the world poutine eating champ, inhaling 13 pounds in just 10 minutes. The betting odds for him to finish second are currently EVEN.
Tim “Eater X” Janus (+800) In 2004, Janus exploded on the competitive eating scene garnering IFOCE’s Rookie of the Year honors. Since, “Eater X” has set seven eating world records, including 10.5 pounds of Ramen Noodles (using chopsticks) in 10 minutes. Janus finished third back in Nathan’s in 2008. The betting odds for him to finish second are +150.
Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas (+2000) Weighing in at a petite 98 lbs, Thomas is quite simply a freak of nature. The top female eater in the world, Thomas also has numerous eating records she can brag about. She once ate 65 hard boiled eggs in 6 minutes a 40 seconds; a number so astonishing even Cool Hand Luke would be proud. Thomas is +500 to inhale the second most dogs and buns.
“Humble Bob” Shoudt (+2000) Looking for a dark horse? Here is your man. Given his nickname for his humble style of eating (whatever that is), Shoudt has had great success versus Chestnut in the past beating him in grits, chili spaghetti and ribs. The betting odds for Shoudt to finish second are +500.