personally I feel is was neithe rof these options/choices. I feel Q did it for pure entertainment, The federation/Starfleet was a"super power" going aroun dlike they can take on anything, solve any problem and are the top. Q gave them a slap in the face saying look idiots your not un beatable, there are things out there you don't know how to handle.
I tend to agree with this. I think up until this point in the series the crew, mainly Picard, were able to get past him. Because of this Picard and Co said his assistance is not required, he wanted to show them it was. This was something he could do and force a win for himself from Picard. But I also agree with Q's knowledge of the future. Maybe thats why he is always nonchalant about everything, he's been there and done that.