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So many people were worried that the “Winter” World Cup, played out in late November and through mid December in Qatar, would lose its luster.

No one will want to watch it in the middle of the day outside of the summer, many said. That has been quickly dispelled, as viewership records are falling all over the planet.

But the main place that it has picked up traction, and the reason television contracts (and streaming deals) are so lucrative right now, is the United States.

Here is an excerpt from this article on, which shows how much soccer is growing (in two languages):

The English-language coverage of USA’s encounter with England on Friday 25 November was the most watched men's football match on US television ever, with a peak audience of 19.65 million viewers on FOX. NBC-Universal's Spanish-language coverage of the match on Telemundo was the second-most watched FIFA World Cup group stage match featuring a United States team in Spanish-language history.

The following day, as Argentina and Mexico met in a crucial Group C tie, the Telemundo broadcast in the US was the most-watched FIFA World Cup Group Stage match in Spanish-language history in the country, and the second largest of any stage, ever.

That is great news for American soccer fans, and bettors, as the beautiful game gets ready to head to North America in 2026. But it is also great news for sports books in Montana and across the country, because the appetite is there for soccer.

And now, unlike in the summer World Cup tournaments, bettors will be able to watch and wager on games right away after the World Cup Final on December 18: there will be only one day without games, instead of a six-week wait for European action to continue like it is normally.

The English Football League Carabao Cup (League Cup) and Spanish Copa del Rey will play out rounds starting Tuesday, December 20 through Thursday, December 22. In England, Manchester City is the favorite to win its seventh cup in 10 seasons. But the Cityzens have the trickiest tie (for once) of the eight Round of 16 matches, as they will have to knock off defending champions Liverpool just to get into the quarterfinals. 

The next three best odds to win fall with newly-minted Newcastle United at +400, then Manchester United at +500, and Liverpool at +600: those four teams (with City) are all inside the Premier League top six. It is no surprise, then, that Brighton & Hove Albion, which sits seventh in the Premier League table before the league resumes on Boxing Day, is the team with the next best odds to win the Carabao Cup. 

It should be an interesting few days of action on ESPN+, and also for sports books in Montana and bettors around the country.

Carabao Cup Fourth Round Matches 

(Games played Tuesday, Dec. 20-Thursday, Dec. 22)

  • Blackburn Rovers vs Nottingham Forest
  • Charlton vs Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Manchester City vs Liverpool
  • Manchester United vs Burnley
  • MK Dons vs Leicester City
  • Newcastle United vs AFC Bournemouth
  • Southampton vs Lincoln City
  • Wolverhampton vs Gillingham

Carabao Cup Odds to Win 

Manchester City         +175

Newcastle United       +400

Manchester United     +500

Liverpool                     +600

Brighton & Hove         +1200

Leicester City              +1400

Southampton              +2000

Wolverhampton          +2000

Bournemouth              +3300

Nottingham Forest     +4000

Burnley                        +6000

Blackburn Rovers      +10000

Milton Keynes Dons  +15000

Charlton Athletic       +20000

Lincoln City               +20000

Gillingham                 +50000

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