Predictions for Who Wins Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2021

| July 1, 2021 7:50 am PDT

The 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is going to be straight fire. It’ll be a bunch of people shoving as many hot dogs as they can into their gullet.

But I digress.

It should be fun for all, as Joey Chestnut chases his 14th title. He’ll probably try to up the ante and break his own record (75 hot dogs) as he looks to defend his championship for a sixth straight year.

The last guy to stop him from winning (Matthew Stonie) hopes to dethrone him again, while Darron Breeden (second in 2020) will also try to stage the upset. Neither has been close in recent years, but if you’re betting on who will win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, you can’t ignore them.

On the women’s side, Miki Sudo set a new record (48.5) in 2020 but won’t be on hand to compete for an eighth straight title. That could throw bettors for a loop here, but there is a lot to take in.

To digest this year’s competition, here’s a look at the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest odds and prediction.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Favorites for 2021

Anytime you’re betting on who will win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, you should start with the favorites.

There actually are no betting odds for who will win this year (yet). However, I’d certainly keep an eye out for those, and hopefully, my analysis and predictions in this post will help once/if they pop up.

For now, let’s take a quick look at the arguable favorites for both the men’s and women’s side at the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Men’s Favorite: Joey Chestnut 

Is this a shocker for anyone? It shouldn’t be. Joey Chestnut extended his winning streak at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest to five consecutive years in 2020, and he even broke a new record.

Jaws scarfed down 75 hot dogs last year, firmly cementing his place as the world’s best eater of hot dogs.

The winning streak and breaking of records are jaw-dropping, while Chestnut has racked 13 wins over the years. There aren’t official odds for who will win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest when you look at individuals, but Bovada is offering a prop that pits Chestnut against everyone else.

Here are the odds.

  • Joey Chestnut to Win (-5000)
  • The Field to Win (+1000)

Needless to say, the oddsmakers are quite confident this is Chestnut’s contest to lose. Of course, in the name of value, it isn’t easy to feel great about getting $100 back for every $5,000 invested.

If you bet on the field for the men’s side, though, you’re looking at $1,000 back for every $100 risked, and it wouldn’t matter who won as long it was anyone but Chestnut.

Women’s Favorite: Michelle Lesco 

It was actually Larell Marie Mele that finished runner-up last year, but Lesco has to be the name to watch on the female side of things in 2021.

Why? Because as mentioned, reigning women’s champion Miki Sudo won’t be participating this year. Sudo is pregnant and revealed on social media that she wouldn’t be defending her title.

That’s a bummer, seeing as she set a new record with 48.5 hot dogs eaten last year and had won each of the last seven contests for the women’s contest.

With Sudo out of the picture, Lesco could slide in as the woman to beat. She opted out of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2020 but finished second behind Sudo in the three previous competitions.

The 9th ranked competitive eater in the world, Lesco is back to grab that elusive crown. There will be other women eager to take advantage of Sudo’s absence, but Lesco has to be the logical favorite going into July 4th.

Top Challengers for This Year’s Contest

Okay, so you have the arguable favorites for the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Chestnut is the literal betting favorite for the men’s side, and it’s my opinion that Lesco leads the way for the women. But what do you do after those two?

Yes, it’s pretty likely Chestnut is the winner for the men’s competition, but you should turn over every stone while the women’s contest feels wide open this year.

With that, here’s a quick peek at the top threats that could stage an upset at the 2021 contest.

  • Matt Stonie – Men’s
  • Darron Breeden – Men’s
  • Geoffrey Esper – Men’s
  • Larell Marie Mele – Women’s
  • Katie Prettyman – Women’s

Chestnut is probably winning again, but this could always be the year he stumbles. He nearly doubled the next closest guy (Breeden) in hot dogs eaten last year, but he was also facing a tiny field of five competitive eaters.

That changes in 2021, as the competition expands again, and other big names like Stonie and Esper look to give him a run for his money. Chestnut is also 36 now, and a newcomer could always take the competition by storm.

Betting against Chestnut still doesn’t feel particularly wise, which likely leaves 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest prop bets as one of the best ways to bet this year.

That, or you figure out who will win the women’s contest.

If you’re not feeling Lesco as the one to replace Sudo atop the leaderboard, consider Larell Marie Mele, Katie Prettyman, and Sarah Rodriguez.

Mele only ate 18 hot dogs last year, but she still finished second and ranks 30th in the world.

She wouldn’t be my pick just because she hasn’t impressed before. Prettyman (35th in the world) is in the same boat, as she needs to be mentioned based on past results and Sudo’s absence.

2021 Men’s Competition Prediction

Bettors could be stuck between a rock and a hard place going into July 4th. There are several Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest props to target, but if you want to bet on the winner, your options are limited.

As noted, most novelty betting sites have Chestnut listed as such a massive favorite that backing him just doesn’t make fiscal sense.

Chestnut started out as a -1000 favorite at most sportsbooks, and the last I saw, he was at a mind-boggling -5000. That bet is specifically against The Field, but it’s also the only bet asking who will win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

For me, the answer is simple; Joey Chestnut is going to win, but you can’t actually bet on him.

Chestnut has positively dominated this competition. He’s 36 and could always slow down, but he broke his own record last year. He doesn’t seem like a guy who is ready to mail it in.

That, and the closest guys to him the past two years still finished 20+ hot dogs behind him. Chestnut’s process and talent are just flat out better than everyone else’s right now.

While Chestnut is my pick to win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, he isn’t the preferred bet. The +1000 for literally any other guy to rise up and shock Chestnut is just too good to pass up.

I’d focus most of my energy on props when it comes to this year’s competition, but the +1000 Field bet sure stands out if you have to go that route. Ultimately, you either need to aim high here or pass.

  • Pick: The Field (+1000)

Predicting Who Will Win the Women’s Competition

This is the spot where I’d love for there to be actual odds for every single contestant.

As I broke down in my 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest guide, defending women’s champion Miki Sudo isn’t competing this year. That makes the women’s contest completely unpredictable.

Lesco does stand out as my top favorite, of course, and I’d love to see her odds. She sat out of the competition in 2020, but here’s how she measured up to Sudo in her three previous tries.

Year Finish Hot Dogs Eaten
2019 2nd 26.5
2018 2nd 28
2017 2nd 32

It feels very much like Lesco is absolutely one of the best women in the world when it comes to eating hot dogs, but there’s been one major obstacle.

Sudo has been the thing standing in her way, and without her in the competition, it’s Lesco’s to lose.

It’s always possible one of the other mentioned challengers or a newcomer rises up and keeps Lesco from the spotlight, but this is an eater that bested the great Sonya Thomas a few years back.

The other women just haven’t fared as well as Lesco, and she has to seize her moment. There aren’t odds for it yet, but if you can bet on who wins the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest for the women’s side, Lesco is the home run call.

  • Pick: Michelle Lesco

Betting on the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

The problem this year is that you can’t do traditional betting when it comes to predicting who will win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

If you want straight-up 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest predictions, though, you got’em.

Chestnut will probably win again – and perhaps break another record – and Lesco is finally going to get her moment on top. The former continues to build on an epic run, while both would set up an increasingly tense 2022 competition.

As far as betting on the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest, though, the best path to winnings right now is props. You should be able to bet on the over/under for how many hot dogs most of the big names will eat, while other prop bets should surface, as well.

Top Tip
In preparation for that type of betting, be sure to consider the venue, weather, the full field, past history, and recent form for all competitive eaters.

As far as simply betting on who will win the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, hopefully, my predictions and analysis can point you in the right direction.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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