Kobayashi will likely miss Hot Dog contest, the Japanese eating legend Takeru Kobayashi will likely miss the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest that takes place every Fourth of July at Coney Island in New York.

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BroburySports.com has released the odds and Joey Chestnut (-1000) is the heavy favorite, followed by Patrick Bertoletti (+700) and Tim Eater X Janus (+800).

There are also tons of props like whether Chestnut will eat ‘over’ or ‘under’ 68.5 hot dogs.

The Major League Eating (MLE) association released a statement that seems something out of a Saturday Night Live skit, but this is real.

"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."

Kobayashi won the Nathan’s contest from 2001-2006, breaking the record twice by eating over 53 hot dogs and buns. He gained international recognition in the previously unknown ‘sport,’ mostly due to his slim stature.

Kobayashi is also the world record holder for eating cow brains, lobster rolls and rice balls, but it’s the hot dog that makes him famous in North America. He will be missed if he sits this out.

Chestnut stands to gain the most from these recent developments. The three-time defending champion has taken competitive eating to a new level. He again broke the world record last year by eating 68 hot dogs, 3.5 more than Kobayashi.

Chestnut also holds other competitive eating records that are too numerous (and disgusting) to mention. He weighs 230 pounds, a full 70 more than his Japanese counterpart.

Chestnut would have been the favorite regardless of the Kobayashi situation. However, competition on the eating circuit has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. These players are getting famous and rich, so others want to join the fun.

There are a number of interesting long shots with great value. They could come out of nowhere to pay off big.