NBA St. Patrick’s Day Game: Luckiest Team

NBA St. Patrick’s Day Game: Luckiest Team
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

There are less than 20 games to play in the regular season, so this is the time for the NBA’s playoff bracket bubble dwellers to find a little March Madness inspiration and play their best basketball in the home stretch. It’s also time for US betting sites to see NBA wagering heat up.

Teams and bettors looking for luck might look forward to St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday. This year, the NBA can play on March 17 without having to battle for ratings with the NCAA Men’s and Women’s tournaments (though it is Selection Sunday).

This year, 14 NBA teams will compete on the Irish-themed holiday. Headlining the slate is a nationally televised ABC doubleheader, with the Phoenix Suns at the Milwaukee Bucks at 1 p.m. Eastern time, followed by the Denver Nuggets at the Dallas Mavericks at 3:30. That gives pro basketball fans little reason to pass up the remote come St. Patty’s Day.

Seeking trends that legal online sports betting customers might enjoy, USBettingReport.com turned to the Basketball-Reference website for data over the past three years in NBA games on or just before St. Patrick’s Day. Here are the results, with average points scored used as the tiebreaker among teams with the same record:

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NBA Teams On Or Near St. Patrick’s Day

Rank Team W-L% Avg. Points
1 Denver Nuggets 1.000 125.0
2 Phoenix Suns 1.000 122.3
3 Memphis Grizzlies 1.000 116.0
4 Dallas Mavericks 1.000 109.7
5 Milwaukee Bucks .667 122.3
6 Utah Jazz .667 119.0
7 Atlanta Hawks .667 117.3
8 Detroit Pistons .667 116.7
T9 San Antonio Spurs .667 116.0
T9 Sacramento Kings .667 116.0
T9 Cleveland Cavaliers .667 116.0
12 New York Knicks .667 115.6
13 Boston Celtics .667 115.3
14 Philadelphia 76ers .667 114.6
15 Toronto Raptors .667 114.3
16 Miami Heat .667 109.3
17 Minnesota Timberwolves .333 125.3
18 Indiana Pacers .333 118.7
19 L.A. Lakers .333 117.0
20 Chicago Bulls .333 116.0
21 Portland Trail Blazers .333 111.7
22 Brooklyn Nets .333 110.3
23 L.A. Clippers .333 107.7
24 Houston Rockets .333 106.7
25 Golden State Warriors .333 105.0
26 Charlotte Hornets .333 100.7
27 New Orleans Pelicans .000 117.0
28 Oklahoma City Thunder .000 111.0
29 Orlando Magic .000 110.0
30 Washington Wizards .000 107.3

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Which NBA Teams Fare Best On St. Patrick’s Day?

US mobile sports betting sites won’t offer this data; it can only be found at USBettingReport.com.

Based on research from Basketball-Reference.com, USBR found that the Denver Nuggets are the luckiest team, according to win-loss percentages and average score. The Nuggets have won all three times they have played on or just before St. Patrick’s Day since 2021, scoring an average of 125 points per game. 

In the past three years, the Nuggets and Suns are among the four teams that are undefeated on March 17, along with the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets scored the most points per game in the league during that stretch, at 125.0 PPG.

Phoenix (122.3 PPG), Memphis (116.0 PPG) and Dallas (109.7 PPG) haven’t been as prolific offensively in March 17 games, but they have yet to lose for backers using the best NBA betting promos. The Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Utah Jazz have won two of their three games on March 17 to fall in line behind the aforementioned quartet.

The New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards are winless on or near March 17 since 2021. Ten teams have gone 1-2 in those games.

This year, the Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Hawks, Heat, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Pistons, Raptors, Spurs, Suns and Wizards will all add another March 17 game to their ledger, giving basketball fans reason to huddle around their televisions come Sunday.

The team whose very name and logo evokes Irish heritage, the Boston Celtics, are the favorites with BetMGM Sportsbook to win the 2024 NBA title, at +230 odds.

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Author

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at USBettingReport.com specializing in covering sports betting issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.