Your thinking is generally correct, however it may be slightly less effective than you are thinking. Your outbound links divide your link juice, plus there is a decay factor.
The total link juice from the intermediate page will be divided equally by the number of outbound URLs (including internal links) and a decay factor will diminish the value even more. So, your secondary links are probably less than 1/3 as valuable as direct links.
Using those intermediate pages are an effective way to channel link juice earned from link bait that attracts natural backlinks. Since you cannot count on organic backlinks to have targeted anchor text, you have an opportunity to channel that link juice through highly focused keyword anchor text which can be effective at improving your target page’s relevancy score and SERP position.