LeBron’s Tune Squad Slight Favorites Over Goon Squad

Future NBA Hall of Famer LeBron James teams up with the Tune Squad in a highly-anticipated Space Jam sequel 25 years in the making and bookmakers know NBA betting sharps can't resist a wager in Warner Brothers CGI world.

Pop Culture

Nostalgia is a hell of a drug and Hollywood continues to embrace their inner-kingpin. While original screenplays and indie films receive adoration from The Academy Awards, comic book franchises, sequels and reboots of classic movies released in the 1980’s and 90’s put butts in theatre seats and pay the bills. Though it took 25 years, Warner Brothers is tapping into the memories of those in their late 30’s and early 40’s with the mid-summer release of “Space Jam 2: A New Legacy.” In an effort to further frustrate Michael Jordan stans, LeBron James stars in the sequel where he leads the iconic Tune Squad against the Goon Squad. Bookmakers over at Bovada know the NBA betting public is salivating like Daffy Duck to back Bugs Bunny’s crew and have posted a series of Space Jam 2 odds to wet their whistle.

Space Jam 2 Game Odds Point Spread Point Total O/U
Tune Squad -1.5 (+250) O-155 (-500)
Goon Squad +1.5 (-400) U-155 (+300)

LeBron’s Tune Squad are 1.5-point favorites over the Goons roster, which is comprised of professional basketball players Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Diana Turasi, and Nneka Ogwumike. If you feel like backing the Goons +1.5, know the -400 juice means in order to win $100, you must bet $400 should the Goons lose by one or win outright. We’ll dig into the 1996 Space Jam box score in just a second, but the point total Over/Under set at 155 is no accident. Jordan’s Tune Squad beat the Monstars 78-77 back in 1996 for a total of 155 points.

Harvard Space Jam Box Score Analysis

Back in 2011, the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective – a student-run organization dedicated to the quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management – put their tuition dollars to fantastic use by analyzing Jordan’s “Space Jam” and extrapolating players’ box score totals over 48 minutes because as they author put it, “The issue is selection bias — we see more successful Monstars’ possessions in the movie. The other issue is that the movie doesn’t make any sense.” Profound and compelling.

Because Bovada’s odds board is offering up Tune Squad player props, those interested in betting on Space Jam 2 should lean on this Harvard analysis before submitting their wager. As we know, LeBron’s going to want to one-up Jordan, even in Warner Brothers’ CGI world run by Don Cheadle.

Tune Squad 1996 Box Score

As scripted, Jordan led the Tune Squad with 44 points on 22-of-22 shooting with 24 points coming via dunk including the game winner. Fans of today’s NBA may be surprised to learn that his Airness did not attempt one three-pointer, but that wasn’t his game. In 15 NBA seasons, Jordan shot just 32.7% from behind the arc.

Starters FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A PTS PTS BY DUNK
Michael Jordan 22-22 0-0 0-0 44 24
Bugs Bunny 5-5 0-0 0-0 10 10
Lola Bunny 4-4 0-0 0-0 8 8
Daffy Duck 2-2 0-0 0-0 4 4
Tasmanian Devil 2-2 0-0 0-0 4 4
Bench FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A PTS PTS BY DUNK
Sylvester 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Wile E. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Porky Pig 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 2
Elmer Fudd 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 2
Pepé Le Pew 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 2
Foghorn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Tweety Bird 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
S. Podolak 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0
Bill Murray 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 39-39 0-0 0-0 78 56

None of his cartoon co-workers attempted a three-pointer or free throw against the Monstars, but Bugs and Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tas Devil chipped in 26 points on 13-for-13 from the floor. In fact, the Tune Squad connected on all 39 shots according to HSAC’s projections.

Monstars 1996 Box Score

Starters FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A PTS PTS BY DUNK
Pound (Barkley) 16-16 5-5 0-0 37 37
Bang (Johnson) 3-3 0-0 0-0 6 6
Nawt (Bogues) 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Bupkus (Ewing) 15-16 4-4 0-0 34 34
Blanko (Bradley) 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 34-35 9-9 0-0 77 77

Though there seems to be conflicting reports as to whether Larry Johnson’s or Patrick Ewing’s talents were inherited by Monstar Bupkus, it and Charles Barkley’s Pound scored 71 of their team’s 77 points with alien Bang contributing the other six. According to HSAC, Bupkus – be it Johnson or Ewing – was the only player on the court to miss a shot in the original Space Jam.

Space Jam 2 Player Prop Bets

Yosemite Sam Space Jam 2

Space Jam 2 (Warner Bros.)

As the odds pertain to Space Jam 2 player props, allow me to borrow some lyrics from the legendary Buffalo Springfield,

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

You’re telling me Jordan made 22 buckets back in 1996 and James Over/Under is a paltry 7.5? Yes, I know James likes a well-rounded box score stat line. So, we’ll likely see him post a triple-double, but he’s scoring at least 30 points, right? Otherwise the 155 point total would appear to beg us to hammer the UNDER. That is unless Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Tunes catch fire against the Goons.

Player Total Baskets Made Betting Odds
LeBron James O/U 7.5 O -120 / U -120
Bugs Bunny O/U 1.5 O -220 / U +155
Daffy Duck O/U 0.5 O -220 / U +155
Foghorn Leghorn O/U 0.5 U -220 / O +155
Lola Bunny O/U 1.5 O -160 / U +230
Porky Pig O/U 0.5 O -140 / U EVEN
Sylvester O/U 0.5 U -220 / O +155

Without question, ignore the -160 juice and hammer the OVER 1.5 buckets for Lola Bunny. Bugs Bunny connected on five baskets back in ’96 and should be able to manage 2-or-more to cash the OVER this summer. In an effort to get LeBron his triple-double and share the wealth with his teammates, one might consider taking the OVER on every starting member of the Tune Squad. Remember, James wants to go down as an all-time great that did more than score. He’s more Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan and his final stat line in this movie will be another example of that goal.

Which Tune Squad Will Score More Points?

During the 1995-96 season, the 15 teams that make up the Eastern Conference averaged 98.5 points per game or about 20 points more than Jordan’s Tune Squad scored against the Monstars. So, if you believe LeBron’s Squad can eke out 79-or-more points to top the 1996 roster, you’ll need to risk $140 for every $100 you hope to win. Keep in mind, thanks the aforementioned 3-point shooting in today’s game, the 2020-21 Eastern Conference is averaging 111.6 points per game, while the West, thanks in part to Steph Curry’s witchcraft, averages 112.4.

Tune Squad Odds
2021 vs Goon Squad -140
1996 (78 points) vs Monstars EVEN

“Space Jam 2: A New Legacy” will be released on July 16, 2021 both in theatres and on HBO Max streaming service.

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