US MasterChef Betting (Odds, History and Trends)

Updated: 268 Entertainment & TV

US MasterChef Betting (Odds, History and Trends)
Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

MasterChef debuted on FOX in the summer of 2010 and has since become a staple in the cooking television content game. The show is more or less structured on the British cooking competition of the same name. Amateur or “home chefs” compete against one another and are judged by a rotating panel of that consists of world-famous chefs and food reviewers. 

And on occasion, you may be able to find betting odds with an online sportsbook to bet on the outcome of the series, among other markets

Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Aarón Sánchez served as judges in the 12th season which ran from May to September of 2022. That 12th installment in the series was subtitled “Back To Win.” All twenty chefs had previously appeared on a season of MasterChef and the winner Dara Yu, was the previous runner-up on the debut season of MasterChef Junior in 2013. Ramsey, Bastianich, and Sánchez are set to return for the 13th season as judges. 

WinnersRunner UpYear

Whitney Miller

David Miller

2010

Jennifer Behm

Adrien Nieto

2011

Christine Hà

Josh Marks

2012

Luca Manfè

Natasha Crnjac

2013

Courtney Lapresi

Elizabeth Cauvel

2014

Claudia Sandoval

Derrick Peltz

2015

Shaun O'Neale

Brandi Mudd & David Williams

2016

Dino Angelo Luciano

Eboni Henry & Jason Wang

2017

Gerron Hurt

Ashley Mincey & Cesar Cano

2018

Dorian Hunter

Sarah Faherty

2019

Kelsey Murphy

Autumn Moretti & Suu Khin

2021

Dara Yu

Christian Green & Michael Silverstein

2022

What is Betting on MasterChef?

The MasterChef competition pits 20 separate chefs against one another in a winner-take-all format. While there are slight rule and challenge variation between seasons, for the most part the structure has remained the same over time. Chefs perform a series of challenges and tests and face elimination along the way. Those challenges include a Skills Test, a Mystery Box Challenge, an Elimination Test, Team Challenge, and a Pressure Test. 

Gordon Ramsay turns up everywhere - Image: flickr/gordonramsaysubmissions

Skills Test:

Chefs are put through their paces by this test. Cooking techniques are put to the test to see if each chef can replicate a style or cooking task to exact specifications. In most seasons, the chef who performs the worst during a skills test is eliminated from the competition. These tasks have previously included cooking steaks to exact wellness, demonstrating the French technique of trimming a rack of lamb, peeling crayfish, breaking down a crab and separating eggs, to name a few.

Mystery Box:

A staple of most cooking shows, a mystery box represents a set number of ingredients the chefs must use to create a dish within a fixed amount of time. Unlike skill and elimination tests, this round allows chefs to gain advantages on their competition. The judges select three dishes based on visual appearance and technique alone to sample. From there, they select a winner who is then provided an advantage for the next elimination test. 

Elimination Test:

These tests can vary, but they all come down to the judge's evaluation of the contestant's dishes based on visual appeal and taste. The judges nominate the worst dish for elimination.

Pressure Test:

This is similar to the elimination test with the added element of a ticking clock. Chefs compete against each other often times making a classic dish within a short amount of time. Judges evaluate the results based on taste, visual appeal and technique, and the losing chef is eliminated.

Team Challenge: 

Cooks are split into two teams, either by the judges or by predetermined captains. In most cases, this variety of challenges takes place at a restaurant. Diners are the judges and vote for their favorite meal. The winning team advances unscathed while the losing team is forced to compete in a pressure or elimination test. 

City Foodsters, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


There are a few different ways to bet on the MasterChef competition. In addition to betting on the outright winner of the show, you can also bet on who will finish as the runner-up or who will have a top three finish. Finalist and top three bets are generally offered in the lead up to the show before coming off of the board in in the first few weeks it airs on television.

MasterChef bets are placed most-often in the early summer prior to the start of the season. The roster of chefs is released via press release six weeks before the show is set to air on FOX. In some cases there are repeat challengers as we saw during Season 12 where they welcomed back 20 previous champions. But in most cases the field is entirely comprised of chefs appearing on television for the first time. 

1. Outright Winner

Bettors can select individual chefs to win Masterchef as soon as the pool of competitors is announced, with sportsbooks cutting off futures betting midway through the season. Odds are offered on all 20 chefs before the show airing on national television. Chefs are removed from oddsmakers lists throughout the season when they are eliminated from the competition. They also adjusted odds according to chef performance throughout the season.

Photo Credit: Dara Yu - Facebook

2. Winner or Runner-Up

Some sportsbooks offer odds on a top two finish or a chef during the competition. This provides bettors with a safety net should they fall in the competition of the show to the eventual winner.

3. Top Three Finish

Like the winner or runner-up bet, this popular wager accounts for a deep run by a chef that may or may not end in a win. Given the volatility of the scoring system, one bad round could put a chef on the chopping block and this particular wager mitigates that risk. This wager is less lucrative than an outright win. 

How to bet on MasterChef

Betting on Masterchef is as straightforward as betting on any other event, sporting or otherwise. 

Betting apps and websites provide an “Entertainment” section in the menu. Once you’ve arrived you can select “Television” from other Entertainment events. Once you’ve selected futures, you’ll see “Masterchef” where you can place wagers on individual chef futures. 

If you do not have an active online betting account, you’ll need to set one up. You can head to our sportsbooks where you will see a list of bookmakers available in the US, arranged by state and the sportsbook promos and welcome offers available.

We have in-depth sportsbook reviews so you can see what other users think of them before deciding, or you can access a list of Sportsbook promos currently available from all US betting sites. 

  • Once you’ve signed up, click on the chef future you wish to bet. 

  • This will open up the bet slip, at which point you will see confirmation of the betting odds being offered.

  • Now you choose your stake - most betting sites will show you how much you can expect to have returned if your prediction is correct.

  • If you are satisfied, hit PLACE BET, to confirm your selection, stake, and bet.

  • You will be given a receipt for your bet, which will appear in your open bets in your account details.

  • Then it's just waiting for the Masterchef judges to announce the winner.

Things to Consider When Betting on MasterChef

MercyAsiima, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Given the variety of individual and team-based challenges, it’s worth identifying chefs with extensive résumés. Experience as a line cook, sous chef, pastry chef, sauce chef, fish chef, pantry chef, meat chef, grill chef, fry chef, butcher chef, vegetable chef, and up to executive chef and chef-owner are all valuable skillsets to possess in this competition. Individual challenges and tests require experience across the board and a glaring hole in a chefs résumé could be their undoing during the competition.

Contenders with executive chef experience historically have performed well in this competition because that role requires a chef to oversee daily operations, food preparation, menu planning, and the creation of recipes and dishes for the restaurant. That level of creativity is often needed to win the pivotal challenges down the stretch. 

Another element to target is pastry and/or dessert experience. For some chefs this can be a bit of a blindspot because of its specialized nature, but most seasons include at least one if not multiple dessert challenges or components. Finding chefs with experience in this category is a nice way to identify betting value in the field. 

Temperament also goes a long way because of the show's high-stress nature and the judges' personalities. Chefs that are more even keeled are preferable to those with big egos who are more likely to engage negatively with the judges. In-season bets allow you to understand the chefs backgrounds and witness how they handle stressful situations before placing your wager.

Author Info

This US MasterChef Betting article was carefully constructed by Brendan Luck a Bachelor of Arts - BA, Film/Cinema/Video Studies at Carelton University for OLBG on contract.

Brendan Luck

Brendan Luck

Entertainment and reality tv editor

Brendan Luck is a film and television aficionado who began his career working for the Canadian Film Institute and has since expanded his range of coverage to fashion (Aklasu), celebrity news (Your Next Shoes), and the gambling space (CasinoRank). From reality TV and cooking competitions to the red carpet and movie studio buzz, Luck leaves no stone unturned.

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

📺🎥 🎬🍿 Brendan has created some of our great content on TV and Entertainment in the US and Canada, with a huge interest in the entertainment industry and betting on it when available.

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