"This might be the most unpredictable season yet," Phil Keoghan, host of the hit CBS reality competition, tells PEOPLE.
"[Teams of] pro athletes, feisty fit couples, people with practical hard-working skills, book smarts and strong friendships make it almost impossible to predict who will have an advantage," he says.
Eleven teams will embark on a race around the world for the 23rd installment of show, which premieres Sept. 29 (8 p.m. ET). Two of them are former NFL teammates.
Former Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Chester Pitts II, 33, will compete with his Texans teammate, Ephraim Salaam, 36, who also served as an offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions and now co-hosts Fox Sports Live.
And Pitts II and Salaam will not be the only team familiar with a pro sports environment.
Competing against them will be NHL's L.A. King's Ice Crew Girls Allison Mello, 22, and Ashley Covert, 25, as well as Kim DeJesus, 32, and Nicole Getz, 27, wives of professional baseball players David DeJesus and Chris Getz, respectively.
"It's intense," Keoghan says. "This season will be very exciting to watch unfold."