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Matt Stonie on What to Bet on in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Stonie believes this could be a record-setting year for the contest

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In 2015, Matt Stonie ended Joey Chestnut’s eight-year reign in the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, but Chestnut destroyed Stonie last year, consuming 70 hot dogs to Stonie’s 53. On July Fourth the two will face off in the contest again, and Chestnut is a heavy favorite to win. But Stonie’s odds — he’s sitting at +275, per Bovada — make him an enticing bet, at least for Cousin Sal. Sal brought Stonie on the latest episode of Against All Odds to talk about the hot dog eating contest.

So, would Stonie put money on himself to win?

"It’s not bad odds, I’ll put it that way," Stonie responded. "You’re doubling your money over. But I don’t want to sway you in any wrong direction here. Joey is an unpredictable guy, and he’s really good at hot dogs specifically. So I wouldn’t go out and say that you should bet on me, but I’ll say this much — I’ll be showing up and giving it my all."

Really, he doesn’t think he can pull off the upset again?

"I’m just trying to help you out. I don’t want you to lose money on me."

OK, how about a different bet? The over-under on hot dogs eaten is set around 67.5, depending on where the moneyline is set. Chestnut’s 70 last year is the record for the competition, though he once ate 73.5 in a qualifier that serves as the official world record. That over-under, 67.5, has been eclipsed four times in the contest, all within the last eight years. So it should be a tough bet, but for Stonie, it’s a no-brainer.

"I think that should be beaten. … And I think from his standpoint, he’s not going to let himself do less [than the 70 he did last year]. I think 67 should be safe."

Stonie’s best mark is 62 hot dogs, so his chances against Chestnut appear slim. But he’s eight years younger; shouldn’t the 33-year-old Chestnut begin to slow sometime soon?

"I gave up on that years ago. Every year he’s like, ‘Yeah, man, I’ve been doing this for so long. I think I’m just going to retire.’ And it’s yet to happen. He’s picking up steam, so I just figure I’m just going to have to live with him for the next couple years."

Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.