Johnny Avello Talks Joey Chestnut, Miko Sudo Hot Dog Eating Contest Prop

Written By Dave Bontempo on June 29, 2022 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
Joey Chestnut

A prop involving Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest “superstars” Joey Chestnut and Miko Sudo is one of the likely innovations for this July 4 contest in the DraftKings Sportsbook lineup.

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, confirmed that likely prop wager. However, the official odds were unavailable as Wednesday morning.  Avello also weighed in on several topics regarding the popular Coney Island contest during his weekly chat with PlayNJ.

Avello said the Nathan’s Hot Dog betting menu up probably by the end of the week.

“We are thinking of doing something combined between Chestnut and Sudo. His record is 76  dogs and hers is 48.5,” he said.

“You put those together and something in that 124-125  range is about where that prop number could be. You could take either side on that and feel like you have a chance.

“The line on that would probably be close to even money either way.”

Chestnut + Sudo = Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest records

Eating contests are viewed as more of a novelty wagering option. However, here in the Garden State, licensed NJ online sportsbooks are permitted to offer event odds, if they so desire.

DraftKings bettors will once again see a limited menu centered around the top eaters.

Chestnut and Sudo reign like czars over their domains.  Chestnut has won 14 of 15 competitions. And he piles up milestones like plates of food.

Last year, his 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes set a new hot dog eating contest record. NJ bettors who took  over 74.5 were rewarded.

Then there is Sudo. It seems only the birth of a child could halt Sudo in 2021.  She has won every year since 2014. And she owns the women’s mark of 48.5 dogs consumed.

Avello says he expects Sudo “will be raring to go.”

“With Chestnut, you don’t know if he just wants to win it or does he want to break his own record,” Avello said. And if he does  that, is he trying to break the record by one dog or by four?

“If it was me, I’d be trying for one so that I’d have a chance to break the record the next year, but with him I am not sure.”

Chestnut and Sudo are the main draw

Sudo and Chestnut  are, pun intended, hungry to elevate their platform and bank accounts. Like previous years, ESPN owns the exclusive broadcast television rights.

Coverage of the women’s event will start at 10:45 a.m. ESPN3 and ESPNNews will have live coverage. The same networks will carry the men’s competition starting at noon.

And when it comes to winning the top prize ($10,000 in the men’s and women’s division), Chestnut and Sudo  are essentially competing against themselves.

“Nobody is even close to those two right now,” Avello said. “At some point they are going to get older and not be able to eat as many dogs, but you don’t know when that will happen. But it will happen at some point. There will be somebody new who can do it.”

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest geared toward novelty bettors

Unlike the number of hot dogs that will be consumed Monday in Brooklyn, Avello knows the event is not going to set any NJ sports betting records.

Sure, “legends” like Chestnut and Sudo will attract betting  curiosity.

However, Avello likened this event to the Oscars, which draws an interested movie base for films that are not well known.

One of them, “Power of the Dog” seems  aptly named for this.

“In the novelty realm, the action on this won’t be as good as what we get for the Oscars, but it’s probably going to be second to that,” Avello indicated. “It’s going to be televised and when you can watch something, root for it and bet on it, you are likely to get involved. People will get some idea about what they think can happen and they are going to make a wager behind that.”

As he did with the Oscars, Avello began posting  odds for the contest many years ago, prior to the age of legalized betting. He put the numbers up both at Wynn and at Bally’s in Las Vegas, just to spark conversation.

“We absolutely did that,” he laughed.  “People loved it. As far as creating dialogue, it was a huge success. The customers loved to talk about it.  The media loved to talk about it. Even though we never took a bet on it, the contest got people laughing and got them  interested.”

A fun Fourth of July NJ sports betting alternative

There may be some additional creative wagers posted  close to the event, Avello said.

Avello cited the promotional efforts  of George Shea, who organized a weigh-in for the event and was first to term the hot-dog eaters “athletes.”

Shea likes to combine the concepts of funny and absurd.

“You have more stars because people are driving it.” Avello noted.” They advertise, they market it well. These guys really push it and they add some hype to the event, which gets people interested.

“I dealt with these guys many years ago and they are good about setting up interest in this.”

New Jersey gamblers can make a side wager, for giggles, or try to handicap how many hot dogs another person can consume.

Either way, it’s a fun bet.




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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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